Bringing the character of an animal alive on paper or canvas to preserve for life.
Specialising in animals, I have a fun yet real style . I work in watercolour inks and oils, using the natural colours of an animal. Then adding subtle purples, plum and reds to make marks to show the movement in the fur, sagging of the skin or smoothness in the tusks.
Where possible I use my own reference photos, to experience being with or near the animal, to see how it moves and reacts makes painting far more enjoyable.
As a child I enjoyed art, drawing constantly. Yet when it came to the dreaded careers officer Art didn’t seem an option.
A wonderful lady, who became my design tutor, came to our school and did such a good and exciting talk on the clothing industry I found myself signing up. I went to Manchester polytechnic at 16, we were the last year to go in so young. By 19 I had a higher diploma, I was officially a clothing design technologist . I was let free out into the world of fashion.
I did a total of five years in the industry starting as design assistant for a year then designer for four. I was a working designer, no time for lovely arty sketches, it was :- thought-rough sketch - pattern - garment. My designs kept the factory busy but it was a lot of pressure and not always the fun you would want out of life.
During that time I also got married and had two children.
Eventually I left and set up my own knitwear business and traveled the country selling to the public. My husband joined me in the business and we changed from knitwear to boiled wool and sales boomed. I designed happily in a wide colour range, everyone could find the colour they wanted, our stand looked like a rainbow.
We sold in Scotland mainly, probably because we loved traveling north. In 2018 we decided to make the move and live up here.
The art was always there, I sketched and painted with the grandchildren . My daughter encouraged me by buying art products for my Christmas present in 2019. Challenge set. Doing a 30 faces in 30 days art course made me realise
- I could still draw.
- I loved drawing and painting.
Surrounded by fields full of live stock gave me many willing models to draw. Visiting the zoo with the grandchildren gave me more subjects. Getting the photos was as fun as painting the animals, watching the way they moved and react with the public was fun. We’ve fed the giraffes, sloth and elephants. A lot of these animals are endangered species, zoo’s are keeping them alive. One day I’d love to go on a safari to see them properly in the wild.
With the world on hold it gave me more time to draw.
I do believe things come to you for a reason now is my time to be an artist .