What inspires you?
Anything and everything. Sometimes I’m in the cinema watching a film and see something that gives me an idea for my next painting or collection. Going to the market and looking at food is also a source of inspiration, like is cooking and eating.
Who are your favourite artists and why?
Velazquez, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Cottan, Zubaran, Goya, Van Gogh and Hopper. They all loved colour, dark and light and were masters of their medium. I think good technique is often ignored in modern art.
Tell us about a memorable exhibition or creative event you experienced.
I recently visited Death Valley in the USA. It was an assault on the senses. The heat was incredible (over 115 degrees) and it affected your vision, sense of smell and your ability to think and move. The colours were stunning and some of the rocks looked like someone had painted them – memorable!
Is there a common theme to your work?/What is your work about?
I describe myself as a contemporary realist. I believe in painting what I see because I see beauty everywhere. I don’t think you need to add anything to the object, just show their innate beauty, be it people or objects.
What is your favourite medium or artist’s tool to work with and why?
I’m an oil painter. I’ve tried other media but always go back to the wonderful texture, flexibility and luminosity of oil paints. My favourite tool is a tiny brush which I use for adding detail to my paintings.
What do you think art offers society?
So much, from cultural expression to freedom and beauty (some type of art!).
What experiences enabled you to develop your skills as an artist?
Giving up my career as a Probation Officer and becoming a full-time artist. This gave me the time to practice, practice, practice and ….. practice.
What do you love most about being an artist?
The ability to turn paint into something beautiful.
Your favourite place to visit in London?
The National Portrait Gallery. As a portrait artist, I feel humble and inspired when I go and see other artists’ portraits.
Best bit of advice you came across.
Never let a painting leave your studio that you’re not happy with. It’ll haunt you for ever!
What do you want to achieve as an artist?
To show together with artists that I admire and to achieve recognition from my peers.
What is the single most important thing art has given you?
Confidence in myself, despite all the ups and downs which are inevitable in this vocation.
Most inspiring season and why?
I love autumn. The colours are wonderful and I love the sense of peace that comes with it.
What regularly makes you smile?
My husband and sometimes my cat.
Number of hot drinks in a typical studio day?
Two or three.
Most pleasing artwork you created to date?
One of my portraits.
Share a tip for overcoming ‘artist’s block’
Just make a start!