1. When you were young, what job did you picture yourself having as an adult?
I didn’t have any clear ideas about a particular job, all I knew was that I wanted to travel and live abroad.

2. When did you first realise you wanted to be an artist?
That was never a clear decision. I just always expressed myself via drawing and painting and I never considered not doing it. But evolving to show and then to start selling paintings was a process kick-started by a serendipitous meeting with a fantastic Dutch artist and friend in 2002.

3. Were you good at art at school?
Yes, it was always my best subject.

4. Do you remember the first exhibition you went to?
At school we used to do Art History lessons and we used tracing paper to capture images of famous paintings. I remember absolutely adoring The Madonna of the Rocks by Da Vinci and Botticelli’s Primavera. But the first exhibition I saw that I really connected with was one on Schiele.

5. Which artist do you most admire?
Peter Doig.

6. Which talent of his do you covet?
His mastery of colour and atmosphere.

7. If you could own any one painting in history, which would it be?
How difficult is that?! I’ve love to have Moonlight by Munch on my wall or a massive Rothko – maybe one of his Seagram murals. That would keep me occupied!

8. What’s the best exhibition you’ve seen recently and why?
Well, I did go to the Peter Doig exhibition in London last winter…

9. Is there one place that’s had a decisive influence on your work and if so in what way?
Amsterdam. I lived there and got to know the work of painters like Luc Tuymans and Marlene Dumas – figurative modern art that spoke to me.

10. Where in the world would you like to spend six months making your art?
Tuscany – easy choice!

11. What subjects are you always drawn to in your work?
Figures, often children, because of the natural way they reveal their emotions. Landscapes, often when they have been altered by humans.

12. Which colour do you find yourself using in your work more frequently than others?
Neon pink is a vibrant under colour that then forces me to fight it (in the nicest possible way!) with very conscious colour mixing that needs to take into account the effect the pink has on the eye and brain.

13. How often do you create a new picture, on average?
One or two a month.

14. What’s your studio like?
Cold and small. I have studio envy!

15. How do you relax?
Yoga, walking in nature, reading.

16. What’s your most treasured possession?
My children, if it can be said that you own them. Or my bicycle, a trusty friend.

17. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Dark chocolate and Baileys, not together!

18. If you could go back in time, when and where would you go?
Possibly 1969, Woodstock. Or Rome at its height, as long as I could be a wealthy Roman.

19. What plans do you have to develop your art?
I’d love to “go big”, but would need a bigger studio for that – so maybe that’s the path forward.

20. How would you like to be remembered?
As an honest and authentic person who lived a full life.

Helen Latham, What Was That?, acrylic and oil on board, 60 x 60 cm