Where did the inspiration come from for this piece?
Chrysanthemums and Allium is one of many floral paintings I have created that has been inspired by my love of our English countryside, coastal paths and gardens. They are a constant source of joy and drive. The beauty and bounty of floral inspiration is vast and that combined with my own creativity allows an ever-changing, evolving and unique outcome, always a different piece of artwork. I find colour and pattern powerful, energising and uplifting, painting and designing have always been my escape, my sanctuary and absolute passion. From a very early age, I was mesmerised by the intense colour and marks of Kandinsky and then by the bold, intricate and wondrous design of William Morris. Having spent most of my working life creating pattern for the home furnishings industry, painting is so liberating, no rules, no restrictions just pure indulgence.
What is the creative process when creating your vibrant floral art?
This particular painting was created in my recently built garden studio surrounded by my own flower garden that is just starting to come to life. I use real life, photography and memory to create my artwork. I find with every painting that my own creativity takes over, the outcome is never predictable and this, for me, is what makes the whole thing so rewarding. With this particular painting, an element of Pointillism seemed to emerge, this reminding me of Seurat’s work. My years at art school were useful!
I mainly work on canvas or board and tend to use the most expensive acrylics as much as possible, due to their pigment quality and content, the colours are so vivid and bright. I use brushes but also cotton buds, credit cards, and an array of other mark making tools. My work usually includes a base layer and then I add a basic mapping out of shapes and colour. Working with acrylic is good because of the drying time. Building layer upon layer with regular breaks allows you to view and evaluate, I sometimes work on 2-3 paintings at one time, each inspiring the other. I add texture to add a tactile and light diverting effect and varnish to add zing as well as protection.
How long would this work have taken you?
The artwork took about 3 days in total to complete with regular breaks to view and study the detail, this often leads to new ideas and discoveries, this for me is the creative process in action, no rushing, evolving. If I’m not listening to my Bowie LPs I’ll have Smooth on the radio for company.
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