I trained in Textile Design at Brighton Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. My college courses were very creative involving a lot of expressive mark making, and I began each project by planning ideas in my sketchbooks and then making large mixed media paintings. I have continued to use sketchbooks and still enjoy discovering the endless creative possibilities of combining different mediums and materials together.
I worked as a designer in Yorkshire but longed for more creativity, so I began to freelance for textile design companies while working part-time as an Adult Education lecturer. I met my husband in Yorkshire and when we moved back to Hampshire I took a break to focus on our busy family life with 3 young children and a bouncy puppy. I set up and ran after-school art and craft clubs and soon found the time to explore my love of painting and making fabrics again.
I love the excitement of starting a new project on a blank canvas, piece of paper or board. I apply paint and ink and quickly move the wet paint around with a variety of tools such as spatulas, rollers, sticks or anything else to hand to create a decorative colourful background, drawing shapes and forms with ink or pencil. I work quickly to try to create a sense of energy and add more paint along with layers of hand-decorated and printed collage papers, and sometimes threads, fabrics, stitching or text. I try to use a still life of fresh seasonal flowers either from my garden or from local flower growers, and also take a lot of photos of my surroundings and draw out ideas, compositions and colour combinations in sketchbooks. I still love to make fabrics, so in the colder winter months when fresh flowers are limited, I make merino wool felt embellished with embroidery, tweeds, vintage silks or cottons, buttons and beads for small brooches and gifts.
The simplicity and beauty of nature and my surroundings as the seasons change, but remain constant in our complex world, never cease to amaze me. My inspiration and my ideas come from many places but mainly my home and my love of nature, in particular the little birds hopping around in my overgrown garden, colourful combinations of seasonal and wild flowers tumbling out of vases, holidays at home and by the sea, the rustic simplicity of the countryside but above all the the joy of simple pleasures, happy times and being outdoors in the fresh air.
I run small workshops in my rural garage studio on the Hampshire Surrey borders, exhibit locally, take part in Open Studio events and in 2019 I was delighted to be shortlisted for Surrey Artist of the Year.
Please get in touch if you would like any more information.