Where are you located: Forest Row, East Sussex
ArtMarketDirect gallery URL:
Massive spiders, people who think I should do their diet, reality TV, football, country music, cake free shops, people who tell me their dog won't bite me, being poor, cycling up hills, being stuck behind a Nissan Micra. I could go on but it would just be middle aged ranting.
What’s your favourite colour and why?:
Purple because it is the one colour I can always rely on to make a painting better if it is not quite working.
Do you live with any family and or pets?:
husband, son sometimes and 4 goldfish as am allergic to animals.
Best and worst food?:
Favourite meal: bacon sandwiches and home made cupcakes. Worst meal: salad
Tell us a little about your full-time job and/or education?:
I am a professional artist with a degree in fine art and I make a living by selling my art online and by teaching art. As a child I taught myself to draw and paint by copying animals and horses out of books on an almost daily basis. This has helped me alot over the years as artists have to be versatile to not die of starvation sometimes. In 1979 I did a foundation course at Chelsea and then a degree course at Brighton where I graduated in 1983 with a fine art degree in sculpture. I then worked in a studio on the seafront for a while making sculptures with an architect for clubs and hotels. On moving to East Grinstead in the late 80's, I began painting for an art agent that specialised in animal, people and bespoke portraits and soon became reasonably skilled at ‘classical’ style painting which I continued to do for over 15 years. Like most artists - especially female ones I suspect - I struggled to divide my time between art, raising a child, work commitments and other obligations. It was therefore not until I was almost 50, menopausal and a bit mad that I finally found myself enough time to experiment and find out what I really wanted to do as an artist. Two other factors helped me at this point: 1. Some nice people invented the internet so I could sell my art in online art galleries. 2. I become an art tutor so that I could keep evolving as an artist by helping other people to become artist’s plus not die of starvation as I pursued my art career more intensely. l have a great love and respect for all artists and art forms – especially those pushing important humanitarian, aesthetic and ecological messages but established fairly recently that my own message is simply one of being able to provide a temporary escape to people and hopefully one that will uplift them. I am a Scientologist and therefore quite familiar with the concept of the spiritual being infinitely more valuable that the material. My creativeness is helped by listening to BBC radio 6 music, irreverent comedy, walking and looking at things, eating cake, sitting in fields and imagining things.
If you weren't an artist what would you be doing instead?:
If I had not been allergic to animals I will on a farm or in a zoo
What moment in your career are you most proud of?:
When I first sold a painting at an exhibition in Chelsea in 1997 - seeing a red dot on a painting is what we all dream of
Before you became professional in art, what is the best non art related job you ever had and why?:
As a student I worked in a pizza restaurant and was allowed a free pizza as part payment every day. I lived on pizza for 3 years which did not help my complexion at all but did wonders for my bank account.
Getting Down To Business
There’s a lot of artwork on the market these days, how do you differentiate yours from the rest?:
I practise a painting style I refer to as ‘Memory Impressionism’. I coined this phrase because my artwork is often created after visiting or walking somewhere I have affinity for. I then make a painting that captures my impression of that place along with the colours and the way I felt about it from memory. My paintings often have slightly mystical elements within them. I try to instill energy and answers in them that I like to think will help bring good fortune to their buyers
What is the most challenging part about being an artist in todays market?:
The fact that selling online does work but that you have to to continually work at it in order to be seen. I like the fact that all artists have a voice but it does make it very competitive. Social media and nifty internet tricks do not come naturally to me and I do have to spend more time on marketing than I do on painting. I don't mind though as I know I am very lucky to be doing something I love.
For you what is the best part about creating art in the way you do?:
Being my own boss. I love to experiment and muck about and ignore other people's advice. It is what artists should do.
If you were able to go back to give yourself a nugget of advice before you even got started what would that be?:
Work harder at art college instead of being a drunken twat for half of it.
Visual art is often love/hate. How do you handle negative feedback?:
Acknowledge politely, see if there is any merit to it, use it if useful and throw it out the window if not.
What do you feel when something is sold? Why?:
Elation. Because each painting was a little jewel of happiness for me to paint and should be out living its life somewhere instead of being stuck in the studio.
What are your tools and/or equipment and/or medium of choice? Why?:
Oil paint and all the gubbins that go with it. I love the smell, the texture, the vibrancy and the tradition of it.
What is your creative process like?:
It is chaos versus order. A painting for me is like Sumo wrestling. Me vs the painting. I don't always win but I like the game.
How do you come up with a profitable pricing structure for your pieces?:
I pay myself about £40 an hour. Not unreasonable I think when you consider I have over 50 years experience and I am very competent.
What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition?:
Don't call it finished until it is beautiful and thrills me.
What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received which you would be willing to share?:
“Be your own advisor, keep your own counsel and select your own decisions." – L. Ron Hubbard
How has your style changed over the years?:
It has become more fluid and personal as my confidence has gown and my caring what other people think about it has receded.
Do you have any upcoming events we should know about?:
I do regular demonstrations for art societies, I teach art and do drawing workshops. I will also be demoing at an ideal home exhibition in Henley soon. Mostly though, I work from home and really do like it that way :-)
My creativeness is helped by listening to BBC radio 6 music, irreverent comedy, walking and looking at things, eating cake, sitting in fields and imagining things.