I have been scribbling all my life and did it quite intensely at Edinburgh College of Art (1992-96). I have been creating and exhibiting regularly ever since then in Edinburgh, Salisbury and Oxfordshire in particular. After completing a PGCE in Art and Design (2001 /2) I have been teaching all kinds of art to adults and children and find it completely inspiring! I am a self-confessed style and media butterfly who enjoys sharing and teaching ideas and approaches with anyone who will give art a go. My favourite art related quote is “to suggest is to create, to describe is to destroy” I’m not sure who said that originally but I love it and try to apply it to all my work.
Many themes inspire me both from the manmade and natural world; plants and architecture, landscapes and rooftops. I see a pattern in everything and light and colour in their infinite combinations perpetually intrigue me. I seek to evoke a strong sense of place in my art, be it real or imagined, often with the heightened colour and simplified form as distills with memory, or a moment when everything is still before a beautiful vision. Like a musical composer who writes variations on a theme, I like to approach the same subject in multiple ways, playing with different combinations of colour and composition, until one (or several) versions present themselves as good expressions of my ideas.
As a result certain motifs feature repeatedly in my work: archways, birds, boats and umbels. The various print techniques I use lend themselves perfectly to this way of working. I mostly use oil paint on paper but rarely without out the addition of pencils, pastels and layers of tissue, collage and silver leaf. I make much use of intricate hand cut stencils (time-consuming but strangely therapeutic!). Each image is unique however, a moment and idea suggested on paper.
Many artists inspire me but here are a few I always return to: Klee, Fedden, Mackintosh, Rossetti, Rothko, Bonnard, Nicholson, Hepworth, Palmer, Chagall and Piper. Also contemporary artists Angie Lewin and Mark Herald from St Judes. My Grandfather, a keen painter, had studio full of paintbrushes, paint palettes and half-finished canvases and it was a magical space for me. On the other side of the family my Grandmother, also an art lover, took me to The Tate, National and RA from an early age and I was smitten with the masters and encountering great art close up. These experiences made a strong impression on me.