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Can you share a bit about your artistic journey and what inspired you to pursue art as a career?

I gained a BA Honours degree in Graphic Design at University, but realised that I preferred the 'Artier' design projects, those that involved me painting, drawing and illustrating, not those that involved me sitting in-front of a computer. I started painting commissions, from murals for companies, to pieces for someone's front room, along side training to become an Art teacher and have been teaching for 25 years now. Once my children were old enough and allowing me more time, I began to push my painting to its next level, exploring techniques and styles, and a few years later I set up my own website. Painting is my passion and one that I get thoroughly absorbed in.

What themes or concepts do you explore in your work, and why are they important to you?

I have developed over the past few years from an expressive painter, pushing abstraction further and seeing where I can take colour, mark making and shape. Whether it be a landscape, seascape or floral I always want to add gestural marks that bring a piece alive.

Could you describe your creative process from start to finish? Do you have any rituals or habits that help you get into the creative zone?

More often than not I will have a photo as reference, especially if it is a commission of somewhere in particular. But once I have studied the shapes, composition and colours, deciding what I want to add and what's important, I don't use the photo. This then keeps my work more intuitive and expressive. It stops me from becoming focussed on non necessary details. Once I've got base colours down I will then revisit the photo and double check I haven't dramatically changed the painting eg achieved an inaccurate shape to a distinctive landmark. I then begin to exaggerate the colours and shapes. I find my phone handy, as I will play around editing colours if something doesn't sit right. Revisiting a piece over time is essential and I will always place a 'work in progress' in my house so that I catch it throughout the day. Then the best bit is the expressive mark making. The scratches and scribbles, the splats and flicks of paint. The part of my process that brings my work to life and hints that I'm nearly finished!

What mediums do you primarily work with, and why do you find them particularly suited to expressing your ideas?

Acrylic. Alot of bright colours especially pink! fluorescent colours for a pop of extra vibrancy. Then inks, coloured pencil, oil pastel and sometimes 24kt gold leaf or gold guild paint, which I love to add for a hint of luxury.

Are there any artists or movements that have influenced your style or approach to art? How do you incorporate these influences into your own work?

My land and seascapes have been likened to the Canadian 'Group of Seven', which I was extremely flattered by! I think artist's are always being influenced, especially with new art materials being brought onto the market and social media being so vast. I suppose without really recognising it, many of the Expressionists and those artists that pushed us into abstract art have influenced me for their abstraction of colour and shape especially.

Many collectors are drawn to art that evokes emotion or tells a story. Can you share the story behind one of your pieces that holds special meaning to you?

A few years ago I painted a footpath which leads steeply down to a beach in Devon that I have been visiting for decades. This path is one of those paths that with small children you dread! one that is so steep that on a long day at the beach is one that is exhausting to walk back up. I painted it for no other reason than to explore colours and semi abstraction and posted it onto Instagram and to my surprise the response's were lovely. A painting of a footpath brought back memories to strangers, some who recognised it instantly and others who could 'picture' it. That's what I love about painting; the emotions and memories that it creates in complete strangers and makes them want to tell me how it makes them feel and if its an extra good day, they buy the piece or ask for a commission!

How do you envision your art fitting into someone's home or collection? Do you have any tips for collectors on how to integrate your pieces into their living spaces?

For one, a collector needs to know that they are buying an original, my pieces are one offs and rarely will pieces look similar. My aim for a collector is to bring vibrancy and joy to a room. For a piece to be a focal point bringing colour into a neutral room or a wonderful clash of colour to a busy decorative room! I'd like to think that whether someone owns a small or large piece of mine, that I have captured their imagination or ignited a memory or emotion in them and they know how much I have enjoyed painting it. It is a very special privilege to create something for someone and I'm forever grateful to be able to bring happiness to others lives.