Drea Blackbird

I am a self-taught artist, raised in the US but now living in Yorkshire.

I have a B.A. in Writing and Literature from Marlboro College, and my original plan was to write poetry and teach American Lit.  But somewhere along the way life slipped sideways: I moved to England, discovered festivals, and started living with New Age Travellers. 

Although I had no formal art training aside from the odd class in high school and college, I began creating backdrops for festivals and bands, and selling clothing decorated with stencils I cut myself.  Something I loved -- and still love -- about the more grass-roots, handmade end of the festival scene is the "go on, have a go!" mindset:  the very first backdrops I ever created ended up hanging on the main stage at a 5000-person festival: I had no idea what I was doing back then, and have learned over time from an impressive series of mistakes.

A few years ago I began to experiment with acrylic on canvas.  I discovered that I loved trying to capture the effects of light, especially artificial light.  I was still selling my work at festivals -- canvases, instead of stencilled clothing -- and as I began to get commissions I started taking art more seriously.  I went to Life Drawing sessions, kept a sketchbook in my pocket, and generally tried to catch up on some of the study and training I'd missed.  At the same time, I've tried to ensure that my work -- its imagery and its style -- still conveys the liveliness and freedom of the festival world.

Thanks for visiting!  See you in a field...

© 2018 by Drea Blackbird

Site Spring 2 (Hawthorns)