Anna De La Mare – ‘of the sea’ if anyone is wondering - Guernsey French.
I spent the first 8 years of my life on the island and was naturally very influenced by living near the sea. The locals are known as ‘Guernsey Donkeys,’ possibly on account of their stubbornness. As a child it was sea, animals, countryside - no television or Wi-Fi tech (the good old days!). We had radio and the whole of the island, its wonderful scenery, nature, sun and history with which to entertain oneself.
My first experience of painting started at the early age of 4 years old. I painted our wire haired fox terrier in a vat of whitewash (used to shade tomatoes in the greenhouses). My artistic efforts were not appreciated by the dog or the parents!
Aged 8 years old, I moved to the North of England where I saw snow for the first time and found it shockingly cold. At the age of 16 years old, I enrolled in evening classes at Leeds Art College – I was smitten with the smell of oil paint, turps, others who had a love of painting and shared their ideas and knowledge. Leonardo da Vinci soon became my hero and has remained so. I copied his drawings from library books. A few of my other favourites are Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon, Elon Schiele, Laura Knight, David Hockney, Gluck, Isaac Ravenburn. The Guerilla Girls are definitely worth a look.
I learnt about “scumbling” when I painted my first portrait, “Angela Davis”. I engage in Life Drawing as much as possible. I have always been a big believer that if you can’t draw, you can’t paint. Observation is everything. Francis Bacon said, “Painters who deny themselves the representation of life and limit their language to purely abstract forms are depriving themselves of the possibility of provoking more than aesthetic emotion”.
I like to use graphite to map out, explore, wriggle before commencing with paint. It creates depth & atmosphere.
I have showed at many exhibitions and regularly sell through a small gallery.