I am an oil painter and printmaker who draws constantly in a sketch book.
My work reflects my love of nature in all forms. The land, water, rocks, birds and tiny insects all find their way into my work, either in a painting or an etching.
My paintings are mainly of landscapes in particular, British landscapes. Memories of our misty, dewy landscape made me homesick whist living in the high desert of New Mexico and I painted it to ease my longing for home. It may be a fleeting moment that captures my eye or a mood that I wish to evoke, and even though I start with a literal place, the painting eventually takes on a life of its own.
I am not interested in just painting what is there. In the past I have preferred to work in oils, but recently have been experimenting with acrylics in sketch books and have discovered a fluidity, which has informed my oil painting. I used to carefully lay out my oil paintings wiping out the 'lights' and leaving the 'darks', however, recently I am working more directly onto the surface, moving the paint around and enjoying the intrinsic qualities of the paint. I am learning to leave areas of paint which might have seem 'unfinished' to me before.
I lived in New Mexico for 20 years and in 2009, I returned to be with my father who was ill and becoming frail. In 2010, I began a Master's degree in Printmaking, graduating in 2014 with Distinction from Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University. Darwin’s beetle box, seen at the Zoology Museum in Cambridge became the inspiration for my final MA project in printmaking. The ancient, scratched surfaces of the box and its contents intrigued me. The tiny dark bodies, lined up according to size, carefully pinned and categorised, seem to embody the Victorian obsession with science and nature. Beetles with legs splayed, others with legs hidden, some missing antennae, many not much larger than the pinheads themselves, the pins, previous pinholes, the labels and the illegible handwriting, all spoke to me of etching. I created an installation (see installation page) which comprised of small etchings of beetles and landscapes, telling a tale of the environment, of being trapped and of escaping. These carefully examined etchings of beetles became inspiration to more abstract works and this approach has expanded into my continuing practice.
Drawing attention to our earth and its wonders is my primary aim. I feel in a small way, I can encourage people to slow down and observe.