Lily Greenwood and View Lily's Portfolio
Lily Greenwood is an emerging artist living and working in Manchester, United Kingdom. She earned a BA in Interactive Arts from the Manchester Metropolitan University. Lily’s vivid paintings are highly influenced by Japanese kimono design and eighteenth century printmakers like Hokusai and Hiroshige. She uses a combination of paint and ink washes to depict elements of the natural world, ranging from butterflies and birds to Koi carp, with meticulous detail.
Lily has exhibited her works across the United Kingdom and in cities including Barcelona, Spain and Amsterdam, Netherlands. Most recently, she participated in exhibitions at Wall to Wall Gallery in Liverpool, England and Alpha Art in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her works are also housed in collections in Europe, North and South America, and Africa.
What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
Growing up in a rural setting, I have always loved nature, and I think this was heightened when I switched to city living in my early twenties. I do crave green countryside. I have come to realize that the natural subjects featured in my canvases are really a vehicle for me to play with color and shape. I have a simple but challenging aim, which is to strive towards beauty on the canvas. If I can create something which ‘works’ aesthetically, which myself and others can take enjoyment from, and which can only be seen through that particular medium or technique, then that is all I need. There is not much point in me trying to reproduce natural subjects and colors verbatim — the natural world does it so much better on its own, and I would never claim to be offering gritty realism. Natural subjects are my starting point, and I love seeing where they take me. I love strong colors, and along with the colors of the natural world, my palette is probably most inspired by those used in 18th century Japanese printmaking — beautiful, rich colors. I have come to notice my subject matter also seems to focus on swarms and flocks, multiplicity in some form, be that a flock of butterflies, an array of autumn leaves, or a shoal of fish. Perhaps there is strength in numbers.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
I was once explaining to a tutor at university how I felt like I never had time to get anything done. He looked at me like I was mad and just said “you have all the hours in the day.” It doesn’t really offer me any practical solutions to time management –it’s just a statement — but for some reason it always stayed in my head, and it really calms me down when I feel like time is disappearing, almost like a mantra. It is particularly helpful since I gave birth to my first son a few months ago!
Prefer to work with music or in silence?
I enjoy listening to the radio while I’m working, and the station choice depends on my mood. I switch between soothing classical music, news, and spoken word on BBC Radio 4, and my guilty pleasure is ‘Absolute 80s’ radio. If I’m choosing music to put on, it would be oldies like Bob Dylan or Otis Redding.
If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
If it can be something not yet made, it would be a drawing or painting by my son. I’m so excited to see him using his imagination when he’s a little older!
Who are your favorite writers?
A few of my favorite books would be Watership Down by Richard Adams, the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Cannery Row by John Steinbeck, and Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.
About Lily Greenwood
Lily has been painting full time for over 10 years, exhibiting widely throughout the UK, with work now featuring in collections worldwide - including Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Australia. Lily exhibited overseas for the first time in 2012, with two shows in Barcelona, and one in Amsterdam. Lily's work reflects a love of nature, instilled from an early age. Her canvases often feature natural subjects en masse, such as birds, Koi carp, or butterflies, in glorified representations. Work is often oriental in style; Lily is greatly influenced by eighteenth century printmakers such as Hokusai and Hiroshige, and Japanese kimono design. Lily is interested in finding out what it takes to create an appealing aesthetic - how to create a 'flow' and an energy. For Lily this involves striking a balance between presence and absence, dark and light, one color next to another, symmetry and asymmetry, adding and taking away until something is 'right'. Lily has developed an innovative technique using her own paintings as collage material to produce a final piece. For example, butterflies are meticulously hand-painted, then reproduced, cut, and arranged in a composition on the canvas. Washes of inks are applied, and sometimes hand-painted or drawn details, before a clear gloss varnish is added, securing the work and adding an opulent lustre. Less
BA (Hons) Interactive Arts
Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Enid Hutt Gallery, Kirkcaldy
Christo Gallery, Glasgow
Tallantyre Gallery, Morpeth
Mitchell Gallery, Warwick
Upfront Gallery, Cumbria
Wall to Wall Gallery, Liverpool and Batley
Alpha Art, Edinburgh
George Thornton Art, Nottingham
Waterside Arts Centre, Sale, Cheshire
The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle
The Brick Lane Gallery, London
The Buy Art Fair, Manchester
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel at Manchester Piccadilly
Great Sheffield Art Show
The Buy Art Fair, Manchester
The Mercer, Harrogate - Shortlist for New Lights Art Prize
Manchester Craft and Design Centre, Crafting History Exhibition
Stockport Art Gallery, Stockport
Barcelona Showcase, Casa Batlló, Spain
Untitled BCN, Grazia, Barcelona, Spain
The Art Market, Holmfirth
Amsterdam Showcase, De Oude Kirk, Amsterdam
Sydenham Arts Festival, London
Delicate Mayhem, Covent Garden, London
The White Gallery, Macclesfield
The Buy Art Fair, Spinningfields, Manchester
On The Eighth Day Cafe, Manchester
Buy Art Fair, Urbis, Manchester
The Bowery, Leeds
Webbs Fine Art, Clapham, London
Portico Gallery, Moseley Street, Manchester
Garden of Delights, Shire Hall Gallery, Stafford
Blossom, Chorlton Arts Festival, Manchester
Telfords Warehouse, Chester
Mooch Art, Manchester
Buy Art Fair, Urbis, Manchester
Littleborough Gallery, Littleborough
IDEAS – Bury Art Gallery, Greater Manchester
Whitworth Art Gallery Café, Oxford Road, Manchester
On The Eighth Day Café, Oxford Road, Manchester
Heart Gallery, Hebden Bridge
Odd Bar, Northern Quarter and Odder, Oxford Road, Manchester
IDEAS - Bury Art Gallery, Greater Manchester
Turnpike Gallery, Leigh, Greater Manchester
Contact Theatre, Manchester
Degree show, Manchester Metropolitan University