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 – Jemma Derbyshire

Meet the Artist – Jemma Derbyshire

On leaving School, I attended Leith School of Art to study a Foundation Course.  This was a very influential year for me, and has continued to be so since.  I went from here, to Edinburgh College of Art where I gained a BA Hons Degree in Drawing and Painting.

When I left College, I set about setting up a studio in Edinburgh.  A few studios moves later, and I am now in Coburg House in Leith where I am able to spend some time most days.  After graduating I also set up a number of classes and workshops to begin teaching, and worked for 2 years as an Art Specialist with pre-school children – a very enjoyable job!  In 2011 I started teaching at Leith School of Art – a real home coming for me!  I now teach 5 classes there, alongside some of my own independent of the school.

Being brought up in the Highlands, the Scottish Landscape is a massive inspiration for me.  The quality of light, the transience of the weather, the clarity of colour all feed my work.  Colour is of huge importance to me as is depth and integrity of surface.

My days are varied, and often hectic!  Most days begin with a run to clear away the cobwebs and get a bit of clarity before starting the day.  Then it can be either teaching a morning class in Portobello, a Community Outreach Class in Leith, or an Advanced  Class in Haddington!  Between the running about, I try to get time in my studio everyday-some are more productive than others, but often the most stressful days result in the best work!

The best part of my job is seeing students progress and develop, and watching the enthusiasm and eagerness in them.  It can be hard at times, but only because you get so engaged in their thoughts and processes.  I think this helps feed the energy behind my own work, and keeps me inspired and motivated.