AR: What is the meaning behind this new work/collection?
As a child I was always blown away by films that used imagination and playful engaging scenes that would transport you to another world. I love taking nature, distorting what we know to be true, and bringing the viewer in closer to work out what’s happening. I want you to be in the work with me. I want you to feel that joy and wonderment that takes us back to our childhood. A flicker of a butterfly wing created by a movement in the paint, a discovery of a small element that can bring so much to the surface.
AR: What was the influence / inspiration behind the work/collection?
My butterfly pieces are inspired by people too. I am trying to capture their personality and what makes them unique: their spirit, their vivacious way, their presence in the world. I believe butterflies are a sign of strength but with a sense of fragility and playfulness. It’s conveying that element of power I am intrigued by. The scale of my work means I am taking something that is typically small and delicate and giving it a presence and a sense of power. Sometimes we feel small, our inadequacies are exposed and we can relate to that notion. I am trying to explore that ideal, open our wings and be who we are.
AR: Why was this something you wanted to work on?
I think you have to work on things that excite me, and challenge me at the same time. I find colour is a huge inspiration to create wonderment and awe.
AR: Do you see this work as part of a collection or a departure from your usual style?
I think it’s a collection for sure, I create pieces that tell a story but one that’s always evolving and helps shape the direction for the next piece.
AR: Have you developed your style to create this piece?
My style has changed over the years and I think that’s an important part of the story for any artist. It’s an organic process, it just happens and that’s how it should be, I believe
AR: Describe your work in three words.
Colourful, Uplifting, Happy
AR: What does a typical day look like for you?
Lots of coffee to start the day! I go straight into the studio, hopefully it’s warm in there then I know I am going to have a good day! I choose some music to listen to while I am painting and turn it up loud. I’ve been known to have a dance, I think it helps the painting process. Art, music, dancing - they come hand in hand, I just hope no one can see me! I get immersed in a myriad of oil paints (all with no lids on...) and sink into the colour. My day ends usually with blue oil paint in my hair and my brain bursting with more ideas for the next day. If only I had time to paint all the things I think of...
AR: What is your workspace set up like?
I’m in a large studio space in my back garden at home - It’s an old converted garage. When we went to view the house I thought I would be painting in the conservatory, but we discovered a massive double garage at the bottom of the garden and converted it into a studio space. It’s perfect. It’s great for showing my art and working in there too. I’m messy so there must be over 100 tubes of oil paints on my desk where I stand at an easel and paint all day. I work really hard but being on your own all day is challenging. Luckily I’ve got two dogs who make me laugh every day. I don’t use technology in there at all to assist my painting. I think painting comes from the heart, I’m old school.