Inspired by the countries she has visited while travelling the world working on luxury cruise liners, Celia Davies produces unique pieces of art using ink and Japanese Yupo paper
Experimental artist Celia Davies has managed to combine her two great passions in life. “Art and travel have both been lifelong passions for me,” says Celia, who works from a studio at her Lancashire home and travels the world as an art instructor on luxury cruise liners.
“With this lovely job, I have travelled with my husband Chris to many corners of the globe, including the Arctic, Australasia, South America and Asia.”
“It has been a dream position for me, and our most recent voyage to China, South Korea and Japan, just before lockdown, was particularly special.”
While on board cruise liners, with Cunard, Crystal and in particular, Seabourn, Celia encourages participants in her classes to experiment with a variety of art materials, and to express their own uniqueness: “The themes of the sessions, which are held on sea days, are often based around some aspect of the countries we visit, which offer an endless source of creative inspiration and excitement.”
“On the last day sailing of each voyage, we hold a special art exhibition. This is the occasion when fellow cruisers, family and friends can come and admire the paintings we have produced. Often the guests have amazed themselves with their own undiscovered talent!”
“We have made great friends over the years, and many of my enthusiastic attendees have carried on painting long after the cruises have ended. I consider it to be both a privilege and a pleasure to have played a small part in their creative journeys.”
When back home in Read, Celia spends her days surrounded by photographs and artefacts collected from her travels which have also included a voyage taking in the Panama Canal from Los Angeles, via Mexico, Costa Rica and Columbia and another from Dubai to Singapore via India: “My travels continue to inspire me,” she says. “My work is mainly created using fluid based media, such as alcohol inks and epoxy resin, as both have properties which can be used to create totally unique pieces of art.”
Throughout the process of merging colours around on a non-porous surface, Celia manipulates the pigments to produce breath-taking designs.
“The inks produce fascinating distinctive patterns, as the pigments pool in unusual ways, to produce paintings which are expressive and striking. Along with the addition of other textures it is possible to create particularly contemporary paintings, which marry well with modern interiors.”
“The process of resin pouring works in a very similar way to the inks. The result is very individual in appearance,” explains Celia who, before she retired, was a teacher of fine art and craft in the UK and overseas in Nassau, Bahamas and also in the US.
Celia works on Japanese Yupo paper, a tree-free synthetic paper that is non-porous: “The usual range of art papers are not suitable to use as the dye soaks in immediately. Yupo, which is used not only for art, but universally used for labelling, packaging and design, is perfect for my particular style.”
“Using it as a surface for the inks, I am able to capture patterns and shapes that are impossible to achieve on conventional papers. The use of isopropyl alcohol is also part of the process. Although diffcult to control, the results are very dramatic, as when the alcohol evaporates, the ink dries in beautiful abstract-style outlines. With practice, the medium can be managed to produce one off pieces of artwork.”
A series of works by Celia can be seen at Longitude Gallery, Clitheroe. Celia undertakes bespoke commissions and individual and small group tuition.