1. When you were young, what job did you picture yourself having as an adult?
I actually pictured myself as a high-flying and rather glamorous gallery owner!
2. When did you first realise you wanted to be an artist?
I always loved painting but never thought I would ever be in a position to be able to devote ‘professional’ time to it. Having left a career in marketing to stay at home with our children I found I was craving creativity more and more. When I went back to college to study fine art part-time, and began to show and sell my work, I realised I could be an artist.
3. Were you good at art at school?
I was pretty good but I never felt I was ‘the best’. I still don’t!
4. Do you remember the first exhibition you went to?
I remember going to a private view of a neighbour who was an artist with my mum when I was about 10. I was fascinated by the business of the event and quite in awe of him.
5. Which artists do you most admire?
6. Which talent of his do you covet?
His utterly remarkable skill and ability to explore and manipulate the limitless possibilities of paint. From photorealistic work to squeegee paintings, fat paint, thin paint, colour and tone, varying subjects on different scales. He belongs to no discernible group or genre. He is defined only by the mastery of his skill.
7. If you could own any one painting in history, which would it be?
Mmmm… tricky. Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon would be a good talking point.
8. What’s the best exhibition you’ve seen recently and why?
The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. I love the openness and integrity of it – where art from all countries and disciplines, by artists of all walks of life and at varying stages of their own careers, is welcomed and celebrated in an historic setting.
9. Is there one place that’s had a decisive influence on your work? If so, in what way?
Not really. I prefer my work to rest outside the realms of any specific place or time.
10. Where in the world would you like to spend six months making your art?
Umbria in Italy. It has big skies, and lovely wine.
11. What subjects are you always drawn to in your work?
Much of my work is based around the theme of everyday views created from a spirit of daydreaming and distraction. It is an effort to get the ‘nowhere in particular’ to become ‘somewhere’ recognisable and familiar to the viewer – to trigger recognition of an experience that is personal to them.
12. Which colour do you find yourself using in your work more frequently than others? Is there a reason why?
I tend to use quite a bit of olive green, cobalt blue and titanium white. I find the combination creates a nice greyish glaze which blurs, but does not entirely diminish, other pigments underneath.
13. How often do you produce a new picture, on average?
I rarely manage to get any painting done during the school holidays but when I am painting I usually have four on the go at the same time. Over the course of the year I usually manage about 25.
14. What’s your studio like?
A total mess, rags and baby wipes (they are the only thing that can get oil paint off anything) everywhere. It is not as big as I would like – but it is my space and I am very grateful to have it.
15. How do you relax?
With wine, mostly…
16. What’s your most treasured possession?
My family (are they a ‘possession’?). My health.
17. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Champagne and vaping. Once an addict…
18. If you could go back in time, when and where would you go?
I think, as a woman artist, most places in history would present difficulties. I think I would probably go back to Victorian times, to the Bloomsbury Group, or maybe to Paris to work alongside Berthe Morisot. Also they wore corsets then – so my waist would look great!
19. What plans do you have to develop your art?
Be brave and keep going.
20. How would you like to be remembered?
With fondness, a smile and as someone who did little harm to others.