Self-taught artist who turned professional in 2005. Successful at many national and local exhibitions, and paintings, prints, cards and calendars have sold the world over, including Australia, America, Canada, India, Mexico, Spain, France, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.
I was told I could draw by my teacher (Miss Treleven) when I was just seven: she had entered my ‘Fairy Queen’ painting into a children’s local art competition run by Heffers in Cambridge (now Tindall’s) and I remember winning a big box of paints and some brushes. At age eleven, whilst on holiday in Italy I was asked to paint a picture on canvas (taller than my height!) to replace a wooden wall painting of Madonna and Child which had burned during street celebrations. Self-taught, I decided to become a professional artist in March 2005, after years being self employed typing out peoples’ theses and latterly purchasing all my own equipment to become a desktop publisher.
My favourite subjects to paint are natural history, botanical illustration and illuminated lettering, using gesso and gold leaf. Commissions have included these three main subjects as well as, for example, a huge gas stationary engine, and pet and people portraits! In 2004 I designed and planted a small ‘wild’ garden to provide live subjects such as frogs, newts, toads and all manner of insects, including lesser stag beetles, hedgehogs and wood mice, as well as many bird-spotting opportunities. Black and grey squirrels also visited. Sadly, since they built houses behind our garden in 2010, we no longer get hedgehogs; the squirrels are few and far between, and the bird life to our feeders is almost non-existent, except for a few jackdaws (who have now learnt how to land on the feeders and shake them so that the food falls out and to the ground!), starlings, doves and pigeons. Little birds are rare visitors.
Whenever possible, I paint life-size using live specimens (I also have a “frozen critters” refrigerator full of road kills etc.), or from resource photographs I have taken myself, and from memory. I also rely on many friends and acquaintances to let me make use of their fabulous photographs as they are much more travelled than I; and I would never be able to paint exotic flora and fauna were it not for their kindness.