Bea Last

Bea Last

Visual Artist based just outside Castle Douglas

Tell us a little about what you do and why you love it.
I am a self-employed visual artist, mentor and peer advisor. My practice is essentially visual art and all that happens within the creative process of mark making and painting in its broadest sense. My paintings are Big Canvases. A commission earlier this year was for The Corinthia Hotel, London,W1 … for one of their seven penthouses of which two other paintings of mine are housed. I love what I do. It’s more a case of WHO I am as opposed to WHAT I do. Life is varied. I could be painting one day, mentoring another, or working towards a major show. Last year I had a solo show in Ireland. That included hiring a van and heading off to do both the install and pull out, not to mention art workshops with kids. I’d like to think I challenge and inspire … or so I’m told.

What makes Dumfries and Galloway special to you?
I love the landscape here. It’s anything but quaint or pretty. It’s stunning and has an edge.

 Are you involved in other arts and cultural activities?
I was there at the beginning of Spring Fling, one of the original steering group members, that came up with the idea of open studios here in D&G and have since been involved with mentoring young artists via Spring Fling. I am a member of The Arts Team at the Gracefield Art Centre and have recently become a Trustee Board Member for DG Unlimited. I’ll be sitting on the Visual Artists & Makers Award, selection panel again next year, which is through CABN and is an award given through D&G Council in partnership with Creative Scotland.

 What projects are you involved in right now?
Right now I’m working on a new series of paintings that various art consultancies are waiting for and some work has just been sent over to the States for ‘Spectrum-Miami 2014’. I’m also contributing to a book with regards to the importance of artists’ sketchbooks.

 Hopes, ambitions or plans for 2015?
I’ve got a show up near Stirling in 2015 so I’ll need to get started on some new pieces for that in the New Year. I’m also going to be busy putting proposals together for other Galleries that I’d like to show with. Recently someone asked me why I didn’t write about the arts … I hadn’t thought of that before, and now I think of it, yes, sure would be good to perhaps write reviews. Anyone?!

Have you always been in this role – or have you/do you do anything else?
Let’s just say I’ve always been an artist. It’s in my heart. However in my lifetime I’ve done many things to supplement the hard times when first starting out having done five years at art school, from working as a publicist for The Tabard Theatre, London, picture framing, a youth and community arts worker, and believe it or not an illustrator for a medical book publishers.To mention a few.

If we asked a friend to tell us something surprising about you, what would they say?
Difficult one, depending on which friend you asked … let’s go for the one that will tell you I fell asleep as a pillion passenger, on the back of a motorbike, travelling across Europe and didn’t wake up until we’d stopped at traffic lights in the centre of Paris. How I stayed on the bike is anyone’s guess. I’m good at sleeping.

Anything else you’d like to tell us?
I’d like to think that part of what I do is to inspire, challenge and stimulate thought. As an artist, be true to yourself, it’s the one thing you can hold onto and know you had integrity … as well as a sense of humour to hold it all together!

Contact Details
tel: 07703 458 182
www.babyforest.co/bealast