How did you get started doing what you do?
A Creative Writing teacher, I have always been involved in community art and writing projects. I have been trained in tradition painting mediums, but a few years ago, turned to the digital medium to create fantasy art for my writing. Now, as a freelance artist, I like to experiment and have moved into narrative portraits, still life, mixed media, design and illustration.
How would you describe your creative style?
I love a painterly feel. I first look at creating texture then telling the subjects story through colour. The mood, a response to nature, time and place.
What’s your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from the way Old Masters and the Impressionists saw and painted light, its depths and moods; as in music – big crescendos, interludes and refrains. A lover of history both ancient and Medieval I am fascinated by the way the many cultures of the world made sense of nature’s cycle, through colourful rituals, myths and legends. I enjoy looking at the ways it still impacts us today, and try to translate that into my art.
What is art to you?
Art is a way to express how I feel about what is happening around me. To hopefully create something intense and moving that will uplift the viewer, as I am uplifted by sharing my experiences.
How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
It can take two to three days. The colour and texture of the background of my artwork comes first. It helps me focus on what the overall emotional affect will be of my artwork. I really love a painterly feel, so try to get that effect with strokes and textures. I use papers I have made, marbling effects with oil paints on water.
How do you keep motivated?
I keep motivated by looking at the changing face of art in my local gallery, in art books and magazines. I like to enter on-line competitions which have themes that both challenge and inspire me to experiment. It helps me to refine my style. And listening to particular songs opens my emotions and imagination
How have others reacted to your work?
Many people comment on the haunting, dreamy quality of many of my figurative artworks. They like the way I create a narrative between the figure, place and time. The subject’s mood lingering afterwards.
What do you want others to take away from your work?
My hope is that the viewer will take something from my art that moves them. That I create a sense of intimacy with them that carries them beyond what is seen – to the unseen.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Focus on my strengths then narrow down the places to submit my art. Some sites and arenas are just too big, too much competition.
Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
To establish a regular working group of artists, to set up projects in the community; encourage more public art. To create a series of graphic novels and more fantasy book covers.
What’s your dream project?
To create a series of contemporary artworks exploring the ways science and art can relate.
What’s your process like?
I spend time going through various photographs I have taken and my sketches, some pen and ink drawings, to determine which ones I think will add to the overall feel of the piece. Then it is all experimentation as I marry these layers onto the background. Sometimes it is a long process until I finally end up with the affect I desired – one that represents the subject and theme of that piece.
How could the art industry become better in your opinion?
By encouraging and investing in more mentoring programs for all styles of art.