Who are you and what do you do? I paint in acrylics. I am interested in the patterns and colours of nature especially when painting water and the shadows and interlocking shapes made by plants.I do it because I feel a sense of wonder and excitement which I want to convey to others.
How has your practice changed over time? I am becoming slightly more abstract.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist? I have spent most of my working life as a teacher in one form or another. As an Art teacher I spent a lot of time washing up. I enjoyed teaching adults how to use NLP to help them achieve their goals and deal with a variety of issues. I still love teaching children at home as a private tutor. One of the worst paid jobs I had was scraffito – ing drawings of plants onto leather – hard clay in a commercial pottery. I got about 80p after weeks of work – but this was back in the early ‘80s
What memorable responses have you had to your work? I love it when they recongnise the park or pond that I have painted and tell me about their experience in that particular place.
Are there stories behind the two artworks you have selected to appear here? What are they? Little tree in the garden shop at Kew. I had spent the morning taking photographs in Kew and was just about to go home but I walked through the garden shop and felt compelled to stop and look at the little tree. The rows of white flowers in pots in front of it, reminded me of Stanley Spencer’s work. He sees the spiritual and magical element in everyday scenes and these little pots reminded me of people with the tree overarching them like a cathedral. I wanted to convey that dreamlike quality . The fountain in the snow at Walpole Park was painted, with a companion piece after I had been complaining about all the inconvenience of snow.I went for a walk and saw the beauty of it – that changed my mind and my husband is still teasing me about it.
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it? I am always organising gatherings with friends so I don’t feel lonely.
What research to you do? I drag my long – suffering husband to any botanic garden or park or lake that happens to be near where we are visiting. I take photos and make sketches but a lot of development takes place on the canvas as I paint. It is an organic process and I enjoy the freedom to make changes that acrylics allow.
Favourite or most inspirational place? Kew Gardens.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Follow your bliss. If I don’t feel a sense of love and excitement about the subject I am painting I will not be able to follow it through to completion.
Professionally, what’s your goal? To be able to earn a proper income from my painting and to become sufficiently proficient at digital artwork to sell designs for surface patterns and greetings cards using Adobe creative programmes.
What wouldn’t you do without? My I – pad