Interview With L. E. Gav Thorpe
for Lewes Arts

Just a little over a week ago I was interviewed and ask a variety of questions regarding my paintings of legs, feet and shoes and also the unique painting style that I use. The interview was for the recently created website Lewes Arts - www.lewesarts.co.uk which has been designed specifically to help promote the local artists and crafts people and also to share what is happening in the Arts and Crafts scene in and around the town of Lewes. The site was designed and founded in March of 2013 by Sarah Norris, who is an events organiser and administrator and is also involved in the crafts scene herself through making cushions under her label Stitched Up.

The interview is now live online at www.lewesarts.co.uk/l-e-gav-thorpe

This is a copy of some of my favourite questions from the interview: 

- What's the most exciting project you've worked on?

I've been involved in exhibitions in New York, Berlin and around the UK which have all been very exciting. I have also created works for both the erotic writer Paris Grey and the pop star Lady Gaga, but I'm currently looking forward to the Artwave festival this year, where I'll be exhibiting my work at the Paddock Art Studios.

- What made you decide to become an artist?

I was always creative and use to spend a lot of time drawing as a child. I studied Art and Design and Image manipulation later on at school, but preferred to be more hands on rather than always using a computer or machine, which is why I turned to painting. I started painting in 2006 and started using oils in about 2008. The idea of painting the legs, feet and shoes developed in 2010 and I created my website www.legavthorpe.blogspot.com in the Summer of 2011.

- What are you currently working on?

My current painting is at 19” X 19” (about 48 X 48 cm) and of a woman wearing bright red, knee high stiletto boots and kicking a small man wearing a white shirt and jeans up the bottom. I'm thinking of calling it What Did You Do?

- What attracts you to the medium you work in?

I normally use oil paints on a range of different size canvases from the smaller at 8”X8” to the larger at 20”X28”. Sometimes I even paint on other materials from dimpled canvas paper to boards, panels and even wood. In the past I've tried painting in both water colour, Acrylic and Oils, but I like how oil paints are the one medium that 'stay open' for longer and allow for better blending of one colour into the next and once dry create a more vivid and stronger tone.

- Who or what inspires you?

There are some artists who I am really inspired by, such as Jack Vettriano, Vincent van Gogh and Salvador Dalí.
I think what inspires me most, is really how women dress and what they wear. I think women seem to have a much greater choice and variety of clothing to choose from, compared to men, especially when it comes to shoes.

- What’s your favourite gallery (or place to see/experience art)?

My favourite place to see art is any place that allows you to comfortably enjoy it. Some galleries can be very dull and boring and very often you feel almost pushed into liking something. Sometimes even places like pubs, cafés or restaurants can make a good place to see and experience art, as they can be very welcoming and relaxing. It's usually better for someone just to display art on their walls at home and that way they can enjoy it how and when they like.

- If you could own one piece of art, what would it be and why?

If I could own one painting, it would be Jack Vettriano's The Temptress. The Temptress is essentially a painting of a woman wearing black sandals relaxing with her legs up on a table. It was a painting that I came across just after I started painting the legs, feet and shoes myself and was a painting that kept me sticking with this theme and made me carry on.

- If you could collaborate with one artist, from any time, who would it be and why?

I would've liked to have known Salvador Dalí as he was one of those artist with such a strange and wild imagination and although most people know him for his flamboyant behaviour and crazy acts, such as driving in a car full of cauliflowers, I think it would have been very interesting to know the man behind the character. I would also like to meet Jack Vettriano, as we both seem to use very similar and unique painting techniques
and it was also his work that kept me working in the way that I currently do.

- Who do you think is the most underrated artist?

I think the most underrated artists are those new artists who are trying to move up through the ranks and make their mark. There are some really great artists both painters, sculptors and crafts people who can't seem to get any recognition and sometimes as a result live their whole life and eventually pass away with their talent more or less never seen.

There are more answers and questions on the Lewes Arts page and there is also a short Bio and Summary that have been included as well.
What Have You Done? nearly
became What Did You Do?

One thing that you may have noticed, is that in the interview above I've mentioned a painting called What Did You Do? When the interview was taken, I was in the middle of working on the painting What Have You Done?, but at this early stage I had it in mind to give it the title What Did You Do?
After some thought What Have You Done? seemed to me a little more humorous and fun as it suggested a reason for why she may be kicking him up the bum. This is the only reason why it changed.

"The painter L. E. Gav Thorpe is fascinated by shoes and feet, and tiny men."    - Sarah Norris

I was also featured in July 5th's edition of the Lewes Arts newsletter, which has been published online at: