Type of artwork you're most likely to produce?Impressionist paintings with birds
What is your favourite piece of art you have created?La Vie Est Belle on Gold
If you weren't an artist what other career would you be in?I used to be a language teacher but it was always by dream to be a full time professional artist
If you could buy one piece of artwork what would it be?I would buy one of Monet’s lily ponds. They are so large, I would have to build an extension!
What inspires you?Mother Nature and her bountiful offerings are what inspire me. Flowers, trees, landscapes, the ocean, butterflies and birds are recurring themes
Delving a little deeper
Why do you do what you do?
The impulse to draw and to paint has been very strong within me from a very young age. I feel very fortunate that I now make a living from something that brings me and others so much joy.
Can you tell us about your artistic background/education
I have a BA Honours degree in languages which enabled me to travel. I spent many years in Mexico where I met renowned artist Jaime Pizarro. He took me under his wing and trained me in the use of watercolour and inks. I have since taken various courses at Plymouth College of Art and Design and the Newlyn School of Art in Cornwall. It is important for me to keep learning and be pushed out of my comfort zone. This is how my best ideas come together.
Do you work in silence or do you prefer a distraction?
My art studio has a lot of glass around it and we are surrounded by nature. I can see the birds which inspire my work from where I stand at the easel. Some days, I prefer to just listen to bird song. Mindfulness is an important practise for me and I am very comfortable in silence. However, I do sometimes play loud music too. Anything uplifting and joyous such as songs by Celia Cruz and Tito Fuentes. The music and the joy I feel while dancing around my studio feed into my paintings.
How do you choose the subject matter for your works?
I live on the edge of Dartmoor so am always inspired by the landscape. The ocean is only a short drive away so a beautiful coastal walks under big skies will lead to vibrant uplifting seascapes. I also work on commissions, so this will dictate what I do next.
Has your practice changed over time?
My practise has developed hugely over the past 30 years. Initially working in water colours and ink, I then ventured into painting on silk and then oils 20 years ago. I have never looked back. I love the vibrancy and fluidity of oil paints. I recently studied for a year at Newlyn school of art with a group of other established artists. We looked at our own and each others’ practise and were guided by several tutors, well known in the art world. We spent time with all the different types of surfaces and made our own paint. It was so refreshing to slow down and go back to basics. This is where my bird series was born.
Who are your favourite contemporary or historical artists and why?
I love colour and this is evident in my work, so I have always loved Matisse, Monet and all the Impressionists. There are so many contemporary artists I admire, such as Nick Collier, Racheal Mia Allen, Jessica Zoob and Amanda Hoskins. I have studied with Amanda and she is phenomenal.
If you could describe your work in less than 5 words, what would they be?Vibrant, colourful, uplifting, gentle and I have heard the word ‘beautiful’ being used to describe my work many times.
What is the best advice given to you as an artist?