1. When you were young, what job did you picture yourself having as an adult?
I wanted to be a farmer; the outdoor life and all those beautiful animals.

2. When did you first realise you wanted to be an artist?
As soon as I could hold a pencil. I presumed everyone drew all the time, including farmers.

3. Were you good at art at school?
I was definitely the most enthusiastic about art!

4. Do you remember the first exhibition you went to?
Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, aged 9. My mum was a ceramic artist and thought it would be educational. It went right over my head!

5. Which artist do you most admire?
Kiki Smith.

6. Which talent of hers do you covet?
The breadth and depth of her experimentation.

7. If you could own any one painting in history, which would it be?
Any Piero della Francesca.

8. What’s the best exhibition you’ve seen recently and why?
Dora Maar last month at Tate Modern. So unapologetically subversive, often unintentionally, but because she was always playing with materials and ideas.

9. Is there one place that’s had a decisive influence on your work?
Chicago in the 1990s. Living in a disused ink factory and making art in my pyjamas all hours.

10. Where in the world would you like to spend six months making your art?
New York City.

11. What subjects are you always drawn to in your work?
Places and things that suggest being both contained and free, domestic and wild.

12. Which colour do you find yourself using in your work more frequently than others? Is there a reason why?
Cerulean blue. It always brings balance.

13. How often do you produce a new picture, on average?
I work on several at once.

14. What’s your studio like?
Most people react to the amount of stuff with a “wow!” and not necessarily with approval!

15. How do you relax?
By reading.

16. What’s your most treasured possession?
A pre-WW1 German-made wind-up mouse lifting its baby with stiff mechanical arms. It has the solemn, nervous look of a Piero della Francesca figure.

17. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Cream filled iced buns from a Scottish bakery.

18. If you could go back in time, when and where would you go?
Wild swimming last summer in Scotland, followed by a bonfire.

19. What plans do you have to develop your art?
To try to be more playful.

20. How would you like to be remembered?
For authenticity.

Pen Reid, Lichen, oil on board, 60 x 80 cm