Location The Velvet Easel Gallery
298 Portobello High Street
EH15 2AS Telephone 07813916684 Opening Hours

Thu – 10 – 5pm
Fri – 10 – 5pm
Sat – 10 – 5pm
Sun – 12 – 5pm

Home / Updates / Meet the Artist – Dina Campbell

Meet the Artist – Dina Campbell

I was born and brought up on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides and although I’ve now lived for more years on the Scottish mainland, I don’t believe you ever stop being an islander! People often refer to the “pull” of the islands so I imagine it’s because of that I return home as often as I can – not only to be artistically inspired but to restore my spiritual and mental equilibrium! Walking on miles of white sand or breathing in the smell of wild flowers on the machair always helps restore balance. What better than to occasionally swap the sound of traffic for the roar of Atlantic breakers?!  I revel in the solitude the island provides but also the feeling that time has slowed down almost to a standstill. My choice is always to have peace and quiet when I’m working. I don’t enjoy activity around me or interruptions of any kind……..as my poor husband will testify!! As with most artists, I enjoy music in the studio but never play anything that intrudes or engages me more than the work itself.

I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be a painter (I don’t think I ever considered anything else?!) and in 1977 me and my little suitcase sailed away from Stornoway and headed for the big smoke – Edinburgh. I pitched up at the doors of Edinburgh College of Art, fresh faced, naive and probably still smelling of peat smoke!! However I quickly embraced the whole experience and within two weeks had shed my oilskins and morphed into …………well myself!

As a student I worked hard, simply because I loved it so much. In the painting school we were extremely fortunate to be tutored by some of the most well-known names in Scottish art which made study there such a privilege. I completed a BA hons degree and then continued on to a Post Graduate Diploma in 1982. I toyed with the idea of teaching but was so glad I chose to continue painting and developing my own work instead.

Inspiration comes from many sources – life experience, memory, emotion, imagination, literature, photography and of course the work of other artists.  My preferred medium is oil often thinned and applied to paper rather than canvas to produce fluid gestural lines. The “fastness” of acrylic has always been a challenge to me but I have enjoyed experimenting with more mixed media pieces of late.

As with many women artists there have been periods when family commitments took priority but in recent years I returned to painting full time with renewed determination and focus. The last two years have been particularly rewarding with amongst other things, the launch of my website, a successful solo show during the 2012 Edinburgh Festival and having my paintings selected for the RSA Open exhibition two years running.

2013 ended on a high with the opening of The Velvet Easel. I was thrilled to be selected by Roz and have my work included in their first exhibition. I love the ethos behind the gallery and the welcoming atmosphere it provides. The fresh mix of artists and designers at The Velvet Easel is without doubt breathing new life into the Scottish art scene!