ANNUAL art event Devon Open Studios is once again bringing more than 370 artists together from painters and printmakers, ceramists and weavers, sculptors, jewellers, photographers and more.
Organised by Devon Artist Network, this year's DOS will run from Saturday, September 7, to Sunday, September 22.
It provides a unique opportunity to meet artists in their studios in some of the most beautiful, unexplored parts of Devon.
Among the talented artists taking part is Gina Parr, from Exmouth, who creates bold, muscular, atmospheric, semi-abstract paintings and photographs.
The former television production set designer – whose impressive CV of work includes shows as diverse as The Brit Awards, The World Cup in 2006, and the original design of EastEnders – is not just a professional painter and photographer. She has also created a unique way of combining the two with her love of travel.
During a trip aboard a couple of years ago, Gina started photographing marks on walls and surfaces as her way of "painting" with her camera while on the move. Now her photographs form a parallel body of work alongside her paintings.
Gina's work can be found in private collections in the UK and abroad, and she has exhibited in shows in London, Milan, Brighton, and Exeter where she was born.
Six years ago Gina returned to her art roots after leaving the world of TV set design, and then moved to Exmouth three years ago.
"I find it hard to define my work but, if I had to, I would call it semi-abstract," concedes Gina. "In my career as a set designer it was necessary to change styles quickly and often. One week I could be designing the stage set for Lesley Garrett in concert and the next I'd be creating a series set for Goodness Gracious Me.
"This now has an effect on the art I produce because I still like to explore and experiment with very different ways of working.
"I do allow myself to flit, painting across my different series, but I am a bit obsessed with the Estuary at present as my house looks out onto to it. It's very difficult to get it out of my system and it also holds a big place in my heart from my childhood in Exeter."
As varied as Gina's styles, are the techniques she uses. She explains: "I use both water-based oils and acrylics together and the combination gives me exactly what I'm after. For my series Scratching away the Black Wax Crayon, the technique I used is very additive.
"The layers of paint are built up thickly and are then scratched away with palette knives and sponged to reveal the colours underneath.
"But my new work is very much a process of removing, washing away and stripping back so that there is sometimes only a suggestion of something recognisable.
"In my recent paintings and photography there is a recurring reference to horizons."
Colour is a common strong element found in Gina's work, but again she has found herself recently drawn towards a new path and is experimenting with paring down and working with a more muted palette while still occasionally working in her much loved slabs of rich vibrant hues.
Becoming an artist was never anything but a foregone conclusion for Gina who discovered a passion for art from a young age.
After graduating from Coventry with a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art, Gina moved to London and became a part-time art lecturer, giving her some time to continue her own work.
Gina later discovered she could combine her love of creativity and performance by becoming a set designer for television. After starting out at the BBC as an assistant production set designer, Gina went on to spend 13 years working there, progressing to become a senior designer. She spent a further 14 years as a freelance.
When it comes to naming the pinnacle moment of her career, Gina doesn't hesitate in saying it was designing the set of the Brit Awards in 1999 at The London Arena. That year the acts included Robbie Williams, Cher, Whitney Houston and David Bowie.
Gina left her successful TV career in 2007 to go back to her roots to work as an artist. By then Gina had already started painting again, and she has been able to transfer her TV design experience into her work as an artist.
"A lot of the series of work I do are autobiographical and are referenced in the names I give the series and paintings, but also reflect experiences common to many people," says the mother-of-two grown-up children. "All of my work has emotional content, and my paintings of the estuary are my emotive responses to the beautiful local landscape."
Gina's studio at 11a Foxholes Hill, Exmouth, EX8 2DF, will be open for DOS Studios on September 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22, from 11am to 6pm, and September 12 and 19, from 6pm to 8pm. It is also open by appointment throughout the year. Call 07976 750 846 or visit www.ginaparr.com. For a full lists of events taking place during DOS, visit www.devonartistnetwork.co.uk