My work is about the landscape around me and those moments that make me stop and pause. On a walk when I get my camera out or sit down and draw and really notice what is in front of me. In my studio, these moments are distilled and developed to capture a sense of that place and time.
I trained in Textile Design and then became a teacher, leaving when my children were small. It was teaching that first inspired me to start making my own work; encouraging and inspiring students all day, I really wanted that for myself! I took a City and Guilds course in Stitched Textiles and spent a long time working in fabric before the expressive qualities of paint drew me in. I am now thoroughly enjoying exploring my ideas in paint and mixed media on canvas and wood panels.
This is my studio in my garden, it really is my happy place.
I live in a village near Lincoln in the UK. Daily walks, farmers’ fields, trees and hedgerows are a constant source of inspiration. The family and the dog have got used to me lagging behind on a walk, or stopping the car to take a photo. These stimulate my ideas, they might become a landscape in my sketchbook, sometimes they just percolate in my brain and details will come out in paintings.
I mainly use acrylics but often there is some mixed media in there as well, inks, watercolour, pastels and collage. I don’t plan my paintings they build slowly in layers, from a starting point which might be photos or drawings and sketchbooks. I love that I couldn’t have predicted the end result.
I start work very playfully and follow urges and little seeds of ideas. I pay attention to the colours, drawings, marks that light me up, focus on those and then shake things up by trying something new, a bigger brush stroke or a paintbrush attached to a very long stick. These things bring an energy into the painting, a history of marks gone before that I couldn’t replicate.
Finding my rhythm in the studio
“I have a blog on my website where I share stories from my studio, this is an excerpt…”
“Over the past couple of weeks I have started some new 40 x40cm pieces in my studio. This is a bit bigger in scale for me and so far I have loved it. I have also been working on the floor. This somehow feels more free and more energetic, using more of my body in the action of painting. I have been using bigger brushes, my trowel and squeegee, and noticing when things start to happen that I really like, the surprising colour when you scrape back through wet paint and the happy accidents. I was using a spoon to put white paint on my palette and found I really liked the doodles it created as the paint ran off the spoon. I decided to add those dribbles in exactly the same way to a painting and filmed myself doing it. That instagram post gained my biggest reach ever!”
Original paintings inspired by my landscape
The journey to a finished painting can be a long one, the result for me, should be beautiful with a living, breathing energy and evoke a sense of place.
Sense the breeze in the air, the sounds of the wildlife around you and the ground beneath your feet.
‘Wandering through the bright fields’
‘The light at the end of the day’
‘Over one more set of hills’
‘Glimpse – Cove’
‘A sense of place’