People are often fascinated by our lives as artists as though we are something apart from society and I have to say much of what we do can be or can seem to be to those not of an artistic creation. As an artist who loves being with people and is inspired by their responses to my work I thought it might be interesting for some to record some of the questions that I am most often asked at the current time! These are often asked when I am live painting at a public event or a gallery.
Have you always been interested in art?
No. As a child and well into adulthood I was not interested in art. I bought pretty things but didn’t get the connection and passion that others felt. I think this was because I was totally connected to my career in wildlife conservation and nature was my art! I found art or it found me in 2010 and 2 years later I had felt able to call myself an artist and thats when I began as a professional artist. I was lucky enough to have a cushion with my redundancy cash from when I left working at Natural England that had become too civil servanty for me! Now I know that I am so lucky to combine these 2 passions that I now have as I know many people never get 1 passion in their lives.
What inspires you and why?
Nature and being outside, enjoying and connecting with wildlife and wild places is always inspiring. Everywhere that you look things are changing as our seasons change-nothing is the same from one day to the next. Nature doesn’t judge you, it draws you in to its beauty and holds you in that beautiful place where it allows you to be you and feel what you need to feel at that moment in time. I have always been passionate about nature-it is a part of me and always will be.
Surprisingly last year I became inspired by the centenary of World War I and the stories around some of the events and people a hundred years on. It is the emotion and passion for this subject from my husband that has drawn me into its web so that now I want my work to tell stories often little known to new generations of people in a way that is different to dark traditional war art. People are huge part of the inspiration behind the series that I am creating on WWI-they have always fascinated me and I enjoy having them in m life!
How do you decide what colours to use in your work?
Its not a conscious decision as to which colours I use. I trust my intuition to bring the colours together in a pleasing combination that has vibrancy, energy and that WOW factor that gives a distinctiveness to my work. I have always loved colour,in the cars I drive, the jewellery and clothes that I wear and the colours in my home. Colour is a part of me, it drives my mood and energy and I just love brightness and sparkle in what I create! I am really loving the inclusion of gold leaf in y recent work with the shine and depth it gives in changing light throughout the day.
Why do you do swirls in your skies?
When I first started painting 5 years ago that first work had swirls as the sky above a meadow and it just felt right and it has continued in virtually all my work. It gives a distinctiveness which means my work is recognisable and feedback has always been incredibly positive. Now it would feel wrong not to have the swirls but again I feel they came from deep in my soul and reflect the swirling nature of my mind as I create paintings in the zone where focus and a flow for the work occurs.
Where do you want to go now?
Developing my work is very important to me as I want to learn and grow with whatever I create as I have only had 5 years since I first painted SPRING MEADOW following my professional wildlife conservation career. That work goes in the directions that I trust it to and where the inspiration strikes. I do not create work to please others but I am glad that it usually does give the viewer a happy experience of nature and art. I will be creating my series on WWI until at least 2019 and I am very passionate about taking this into areas often neglected such as women roles and the role of animals in WWI. I am also wanting to work more with people in workshops and as an artist in residence in different positions as I enjoy the focus and intensity that these positions bring to my work. I also want to develop my work painting at weddings and other events, capturing the energy, moods, colours and flowers and the uniqueness of each event. I believe I am the only artist capturing the essence of weddings on the day in the UK.
I hope these questions answer some of the most common enquiries that I get but please ask away and I will post answers in the near future.