A common observation of my artwork is that it is extremely varied both in terms and subject. This is what you will see when visiting my studio as this is a place where I spend a lot of time both experimenting with different techniques and subjects, rather than keeping themes and styles more streamlined. In some respects this is my style, however on close inspection the process remains the same.
The exhibition this year is my response in colour and texture to the landscape I enjoy from my journeys close to home or further afield.
I am particularly inspired by big skies and huge mountains loving to capture their gradients and scale taking the viewers eye into the beyond. I hope to inspire both atmosphere and imagination.
I look to slightly abstract my work by placing more emphasis on interesting textures and lines that create both space, structure, and distance.
I collect my ideas when out on walks both locally and when travelling. I always have my sketch book with me, take photos frequently and think of words to best describe - the “live nature” of where I am.
Having collected my information, back at the studio, I then will create many collage and textural pieces from papers and little painted study pieces which are then torn. I also keep hold of dismissed bits and pieces from old paintings and add them into new ones ! I also print in relief or collect highly textural pieces such a netting or corrugated surfaces. I will also look for those found pieces that suit the theme I am building in terms of colour or they may be completely random and will add an unusual hint or quirkiness to a painting.
Using graphite initially, I will do a limited amount of planning and drawing, preferring to get “stuck in” on the basis that using acrylic I can change the bits that do not work. My work then often takes on a life of its own! I aim to not recognise “mistakes” but rather look to incorporate them keeping my work spontaneous and free. In addition to acrylic and collage pieces I will often dribble and spray ink and use pastels (mostly metallic oil).
I love to work with strong bold colours and the blues from indigo to turquoise juxtaposed with the earth colours of burnt umber and raw sienna and sometimes bright olive green. These are my frequent “go to” palette. The use of these bold colours allows me to highlight the magnitude and magnificence of big bold skies and mountains. I also use a lot of black and white both mixed into and alongside these colours to emphasize dark against light to provide exaggerated tone and form. I also love a bit of metallic!
Within a piece of work, I rely upon mixed media to give me both hard and soft fluid edges for example ink sprayed over painted, structured lines and torn edges provide an interesting contrast that I aim to work into to create the image I am after. Depending on the theme of the painting I will adapt the energy of my brushstrokes from sweeping spontaneous marks for mountains to smaller and more precise marks for details in buildings. As I use abstraction in my paintings, I look to stylise parts in response to my love of design and shape.
I enjoy painting big and bold and increasingly I am working on large deep edge boxed canvases. The biggest to date has been over a metre and a half wide. The studio space allows me to work on this scale freely without interruption.
I have recently been experimenting with more abstracted painting, observed and inspired by natural organic forms. These have been sketched and painted in layers to produce some interesting negative shapes that become part of the design. A very different approach for me but I continue to experiment with different techniques and enjoy the creative process.
I have always painted throughout my life and as a child I was very much encouraged by my mother (an artist herself based in North Yorkshire).
I did a degree in art and environmental studies combining both my love of art and the environment. I then went on to pursue a career in retail, eventually becoming Harrods millinery buyer, which allowed me to be involved in the design and manufacturing process in order to create one off pieces.
At Kingfisher Studios I have the pleasure of working at the site of the former Witney blankets factory, and I am immediately next to the old mill pool where the blankets were washed in days gone by. Despite its industrial past, the mill pool and its surrounds are now teeming with wildlife.
Since my children have grown up, I have become a full-time artist and I now teach art and paint here at the studio.