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An Interview With Rachel McCullock
When did you first become interested in painting?
I have always had a great appreciation for art and enjoyed collecting pieces for my own home. I started to paint simply for pleasure about 7 years ago when my youngest child started school and was amazed and delighted that my work generated a great deal of interest.
Did you always know you would become an artist, or did you have other ideas?
I started my professional career as a dental technician in a top London teaching hospital. I believe that this is where I developed my interest in colour and the subtleties of shade and tone that is an integral part of creating natural looking teeth.
Are you a full time artist and if so how do you manage your time?
I would love to be a full time artist but with 3 children and as a part time dental practice manager this is an impossibility. I do however try to spend as much time as possible in the studio, which is a converted summerhouse in my garden. My children tease me when I utter the phrase “just popping to the studio for five minutes” only to emerge up to five hours later.
You have two distinctive styles; floral and abstract can your reasons for having two different styles?
I like variety and experimentation. Trying out new techniques and materials has lead to the development of a number of different styles that I can apply to a range of subjects. I like to add my own twist to traditional subject matters, such as larger than life fruit and vegetables, textured landscapes and slate to create ‘outdoor’ paintings.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I find that ideas come to me out of the blue as well as looking at photographs in newspapers and magazines. I am also fortunate enough to be surrounded by beautiful countryside and gain inspiration from the colours and textures of nature.
Do you prefer to work in your studio or on location?
Without a doubt my studio. I have such a wide array of materials I use for my abstracts that it wouldn’t be practical to work on location. Also most of my work is painted onto a flat surface and many of my canvases are very large.
Are you influenced by any famous artists, if so who are they?
I have always loved the Impressionist artists for their bright and varied use of colour, fresh and original vision and for creating a welter of techniques and forms.
Your abstracts are very three-dimensional. Without giving away too many secrets how do you achieve this effect?
I strive to produce work with is both aesethically pleasing and creatively unique. I am constantly sourcing different materials to achieve new and interesting textures to produce the results that you see in my work.