Gillian Lever

Recent Inspiration

I am continuing preparations for our Lever Arts Open Studio Weekend on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th November. (If you would like more details or would like to book a place please contact Lever Arts).

At the end of October Jake and I spent a lovely slow week in a cottage in a remote part of North Devon. I loved walking in the wild wet woodland, making colour studies and reading.

This quote on beauty is from Valerie Kaur’s book See No Stranger - a Memoir and Manifesto of revolutionary love’, a wonderful book that I read on the trip.  It underscores the value of art making at this time of so much breathless suffering.

”When we see something beautiful we call it breathtaking, but we should really call it breathgiving”... Because when suffering constricts the heart, it stretches it back out, making us more compassionate, more loving, more present.’

Jake Lever

New work

Setting up a temporary studio in a cave-like thatched cottage, I have been continuing to experiment with painting over blue cyanotypes, a practice I started in the summer. I worked directly into these with wax crayons and layers of paint, scraping back to excavate imagery and experiment with mark making, transparency and colour. Whilst these images do not depict nature in a literal sense, they are rooted in my experience of it, honouring the mysterious harmony, unity and interconnectedness felt in the wild.


Jake Lever

Tree of Life 

The pupils and staff of Emscote Infant School and All Saints’ C of E Junior School, Warwick are working with me to create a free-standing Tree of Life comprised of hundreds of drawings, collages and cyanotypes. I have been invited by Rev Diane Thompson, Team Vicar of All Saints’ Church in Emscote, to design and deliver a project exploring the theme of the ‘Tree of Life’.

The children’s artwork is really vibrant and we are looking forward to installing the tree in All Saints Church on 14th October.

“Over its 150 year history, worship has always been at the heart of All Saints. I am also very proud that Emscote’s parish church continues to be the setting for many community events and activities: a reminder for me that God’s love is with us always and everywhere.”

Revd. Diane Thompson

Gillian Lever

Open Studio Event

Jake and I are working towards an Open Studio weekend at our home and studio in Birmingham on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th November. If you would like to visit please contact us.

I am working on a series of new oil paintings. 

50% of sales from the Open Studio weekend will go to All Saints Youth Project . All Saints Youth Project is an inclusive youth project providing recreational and informal educational opportunities and individual support in Kings Heath, Birmingham.


Gillian Lever


”I arise today through the strength of heaven, light of the sun, radiance of the moon, splendour of fire, speed of lightning, swiftness of wind, depth of sea, stability of earth, firmness of rock.”

John O’Donohue,  Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom 

Jake and I spent time in August exploring the wild beauty of Northumberland. We both loved painting outside.

Jake Lever


”If you go out for several hours into a place that is wild, your mind begins to slow down, down, down. What is happening is that the clay of your body is retrieving its own sense of sisterhood with the great clay of the landscape.”

John O’Donohue, Walking in Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for a Modern World

During our time in Northumberland we visited The Holy Island of Lindisfarne on foot. Lindisfarne is an island that can be reached by car but we chose to walk. At low tide, a two mile causeway attaches the island twice daily to the Northumbrian coast. Earlier travellers sometimes crossed by coracle.

At the end of the seventh century, one of the greatest works of English art was created in the damp and draughty scriptorium of Lindisfarne. One man, Eadfrith, copied out the four gospels in beautiful manuscript and illustrated them with decorated pages of amazing intricacy. He used 258 pages of calfskin vellum, ink made from soot bound with egg white, quills from seagulls’ feathers and materials that included green malachite, blue lapis lazuli and red dye from insects. The ‘carpet’ pages before each gospel are made of abstract patterns, spirals, ribbons, animals and birds, the whole design in the form of a cross. I loved exploring the history of the island and enjoyed developing a series of paintings whilst in the area.

Using Format