Andrea Grottick was
born in Essex in 1975. Growing up
in a large family in an urban area, not far from London, she developed an
interest in human relations and how people interact. As a child, she loved to draw faces of both people and
animals and later this developed into a combination of portraiture and an
exploration of issues that all people can relate. She also incorporated animals to represent emotions and
different aspects of human nature.
In her younger years, Andrea had a varied career, often working in the field of Mental Health, but also traveling and working abroad as an English as a Foreign Language Teacher and in bars and restaurants. Between these jobs, she did commissions for portraits and pet portraits, completed a degree in Fine Art (specialising in video art) and held regular exhibitions.
Andrea’s work is intuitive as she paints from her imagination to start. There is always a meaning to her work though, a theme or a cause to raise awareness. To make this meaning clearer, she uses photographs to get a detailed portrayal of a person, animal or scene.
In previous work, Andrea painted whatever came to mind about a particular topic of interest (For example, see the Locked Down, State of Mind and Washed Away collections). She used oil paint with a medium, such as Sansador, and poured and dripped it in multiple layers on the canvas. She used fast drying oils, as she finds waiting for conventional oil paints takes away from the joyful spontaneity of her technique.
Andrea liked to play with the viewers’ perception of what was really going on in the painting. She gave her paintings seemingly self-explanatory titles, but hid clues in the painting of an alternative meaning. Similarly, she added bright, vibrant colours to an otherwise bleak representation or left large areas uncoloured or neutral to isolate that area from the rest of the image.
However, in her current collection (Made from Stars), Andrea has opted to use acrylic paints, as they dry much faster and are easier to manage on the smaller sized canvas boards she is using. Although her backgrounds are still experimental, the focal images of the animals are meticulously painted in dots, to represent stars. These paintings take longer to create, but have a very meditative and therapeutic effect. All of these paintings are also infused with Reiki, to bring a sense of calm and healing to the viewer - as are her Wild At Heart collection.
Andrea sometimes struggles to articulate what she is feeling, so finds that ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ is a very good saying for her. In the past, she has been inspired by her travels – particularly the beautiful scenery, cultures and traditions that she has encountered. She did a collection of work inspired by the stories from her Karenni refugee students in Thailand (Asian Highway). This was featured in an online art magazine in 2015: Art Reveal Magazine, Issue 08.
Andrea has also trained as a teacher, specialising in post-compulsory education in Art & Design, she gained her PGCE at the University of South Wales. She designed an art for wellbeing programme for Ben Uri Gallery, London, and contributed essays to the Holocaust Explained website. She also wrote several blog posts for The Golden Thread Sketchbook, an article for The Light Newspaper, and would like to do more writing in the future.