When did you first become interested in painting?
I have always painted as a hobby and I would always draw and painted something, ever since I was a little girl. It was something that came naturally to me; however I never actually followed a formal art education apart from a few art workshops and short courses as spare time activities.
Did you always know you would become an artist or did you have other ideas?
As I treated my interest in painting as a hobby for many years, I concentrated on my education and career. I also loved books and poetry and I enjoyed writing so I studied literature instead. It was four years ago when I started to paint at a more professional level and after I gave up my day job, I had a lot of time on my hands for experimenting. Next thing I knew, I was taking part in group exhibitions in Devon and Somerset and I was part of a few local art societies, exhibiting in local galleries and gift shops.
Are you a full time artist and if so, how do you manage your time?
I spend a lot of time painting, thinking about new ideas and experimenting with various mediums and techniques, but I also write articles on arts and home décor, one of my articles has been published in Leisure Painter magazine. I also read art books and magazines in order to perfect my craft and to learn from other artists and experts.
Where do you get your inspiration?
As I love poetry and classical music, I am inspired by them and I am always incorporating them in my paintings in the form of lyre and other musical instruments. I am also inspired by the Devon landscape where I live.
Do you have a distinctive style and have you always worked in this why?
Ever since I took my hobby to a more professional level, I have been preoccupied with developing my own style. As I like nature with its many facets, music and poetry as well as the mixed media technique, I am incorporating all these elements in my work in an attempt to unify them under a distinctive style that I would like to call my own. However, I also like working in small collections to keep my creativity flowing. For example I would create a small collection of still life mixed media paintings in which I incorporate traditional doilies and other materials; then I would create imaginary landscapes, loosely based on Devon, featuring some mythical animals (deer, sheep) with lyre horns. Then I would create a small collection of textured roses, one of my favourite flowers and so on.
Are you influenced by any famous artists, if so who are they?
I admire many artists, both from the past and from today but I am particularly fascinated by female artists that made their mark into the arts world, one of them being an 18th century painter, Anne Vallayer-Coster.
Could you please describe the practical process you go through when making a painting?
I start with a background creating texture or gluing various materials to the canvas (fabric, doily, fibre washers, vintage paper, old maps). Then I would construct my painting by adding layer upon layer until the materials are fully incorporated and a coherent image is created. I make sure everything is dry between layers especially with mixed media. Then just before the final touches, I would hang the artwork on my walls for a few days to see it from different angles and in different lights and then I would add the finishing accents that will make the painting complete.