Art was always my favourite subject at school, and the first thing on my Birthday or Christmas list was normally drawing books, pens and paints. I never considered a career as an artist; it didn't seem like something everyday people did!
On leaving school I went to help out in the family floristry business; taking it over from my parents some years later. With running a business I never found a lot of time for hobbies; but I suppose my creative side came out in floristry displays;
gaining a reputation for being able to reproduce many things in flowers - from Great Danes to Formula 1 cars.
Eventually I had to sell the floristry business due to illness, and during some months of rest I found myself with the time to try some drawing again. In 2002 an opportunity then came up for us to move from our home in Surrey to the beautiful county of Devon, where my husband, Graham, and I bought a sports shop. We had thought we were changing to a quieter pace of life; but the business developed faster than we anticipated and all our time was taken up by it.
After a few years I found I had some spare time again, so I searched out my art materials and started working on some graphite pencil drawings. Since I was little, nature has fascinated me; whether it was a bird feather or the moss growing on a bank in the woods - the beauty was in the detail and the texture. So when I began drawing again; the obvious choice of subject for me was wildlife and nature.
Graham always says that where nature is concerned I always have to touch; I can't just look, and I do have to plead guilty as charged on this point, but my detailed style developed out of my desire to want to create something that not only would make people feel like they could reach out and touch the subject; but that could allow them to actually imagine what it might feel like.
So in my drawings I tried to convey the different textures of fur, skin or feather. Later when I began working with oils this style continued. I had seen the effects wildlife artists were getting with pastels; and the soft feeling of fur, and I wanted to achieve that - but with oils. I don't find it necessary to do everything in a detailed style, but whoever the star of the picture is and whatever is closest to them; usually gets that treatment.
The biggest compliment I can get is when people look at my work and say something like...'you feel like you could run your fingers through its fur..'. Which, as Graham would say, is probably what I'd do to the real thing; given half a chance!
Pet Portrait, Wildlife