Distinction in Pet Portraiture Diploma through the London Art College, People Choice Award at Art in Lyddington (3 years running), Colemans Prize at The Rutland Open Art Exhibition 2017
I always wonder why I didn’t pick up a pencil many years ago, the only consolation is that it makes me so much more eager to make up for lost time.
I have only been seriously drawing and painting for the past 6 or 7 years and spent most of my youth into other arts like playing the violin, piano, sewing, knitting and making anything that involved material. I am self-taught…which has been an interesting challenge to say the least! My mum is my art critique and although not an artist herself, she has an incredible eye for detail and believe me, there is no holding back when scrutinizing my work before it is released…good job I’m not adverse to a bit of self-criticism!
I started my artistic journey during a short spell of being chair bound after an operation…feeling terribly bored and fed up I had the urge to be very creative. After purchasing a Rolf Harris Starter kit and copying a painting on the wall, apart from really enjoying doing it, I discovered that I made a half decent job of it. So, after a few years of practice and friends and relatives asking me to draw their pets, I now feel a lot more confident in my art and keep myself busy doing pet and family portraits for a much wider circle of people…many who have been recommended by word of mouth.
I enjoy pastels so much because I like the control of the pencil/pastel stick over a brush. Pastels can be messy, as much as any other medium but as I work mostly with the pastel pencils it minimises the dust and I prefer the accuracy that I can achieve with a sharp point. I love working on velour as it lends itself so well to pets, especially being soft and almost furry to touch. Apart from the fact that it holds so much pastel, I can do layer upon layer of colour, texture and detail. As I work in a ‘realistic’ style I am very conscious that I achieve a good likeness to the subject and regard this as a very important factor when trying to portray features and character.
I aim to create a feeling of warmth, happiness and radiate the soul of the subject, its only then that I feel satisfied that my job as an artist has been done.
When it comes down to it, there is nothing I would rather do!