From school and throughout my working life I have painted, mostly for my own amusement but also in response to endless friends’ requests for portraits of themselves, their children or their pets.
Where are you located: Kettering, Northamptonshire (UK)
ArtMarketDirect gallery URL:
Yes! Frogs and spiders! And people who drive like idiots!
What’s your favourite colour and why?:
I love every colour of the rainbow, and want to paint everything I see. Perhaps blue is my favourite if I must pick one. Cool, clean, freedom.
Do you live with any family and or pets?:
Kids married and left, just me and hubby rattling around now. Definitely family oriented though - love to cook for family visits and lots of childminding and baby sitting the grandkids. No pets at present other than a pond full of goldfish. Our beloved dog Polly is no longer with us, and we have not felt that she is replaceable.
Tell us a little about your full-time job and/or education?:
After a traditional Grammar School education I worked for many years as a secretary, managing my hours around the family of husband and two kids. From school and throughout my working life I have painted , mostly for my own amusement but also in response to endless friends' requests for portraits of themselves, their children or their pets. Or even a painting of their house or garden! It is only in recent years that I have found the time to seriously paint, and only in the last year or so that I have started to sell some of my work.
If you weren't an artist what would you be doing instead?:
I can't imagine not being an artist, so for me that question is irrelevant.
What moment in your career are you most proud of?:
It might sound a bit mercenary, but I am always very proud to sell a painting and see the emotion (sometimes even tears!) my pictures can incite.
Before you became professional in art, what is the best non art related job you ever had and why?:
Secretary in a speech and language therapy clinic, in which I did actually manage to include some drawing and art work which helped therapists explain meanings of language to children with speech and language problems.
Getting Down To Business
There’s a lot of artwork on the market these days, how do you differentiate yours from the rest?:
I seem to differ from most artists in that I am ready and prepared to paint anything and everything (within reason!). I love every style and technique, every colour and subject. I have tried unsuccessfully in the past to develop a particular style or genre, but seem always to be tempted away from any one type to paint something else which does not necessarily fit with my plan of the moment. For me there are too many tempting subjects and styles in the world to stick with just one.
What is the most challenging part about being an artist in todays market?:
Finding enough hours in the day to devote to painting. "So many subjects, so little time!"
For you what is the best part about creating art in the way you do?:
The process of painting perhaps even more satisfying than actually being satisfied with the end result.
Visual art is often love/hate. How do you handle negative feedback?:
Fortunately this does not happen often, but if and when it does I would accept any criticism, consider it carefully and try to use it constructively
What do you feel when something is sold? Why?:
Elated!! Not just for the financial gain (although of course that is important) but mainly to think that someone is sufficiently impressed with my work to want to pay money for it and hang it on their wall!! What could be better than that? Having said that though, sometimes it is a bit of a wrench when it comes to actually parting with a painting which has been such a focus of my life for the duration of the time it took to paint - which is why I sometimes have prints of my paintings made to sell so that I can still own the original.
What are your tools and/or equipment and/or medium of choice? Why?:
Always, always oil paints. Brushes, canvas, sometimes palette knife.
What is your creative process like?:
Once I get an idea or inspiration for a painting I become very impatient to begin, and do tend to become completely absorbed in my work.
How do you come up with a profitable pricing structure for your pieces?:
I take into account the materials used and the time involved; but most of all my own assessment of the end result. Sometimes a small painting quickly executed can be more appealing to my sense of achievement than one which has been long planned and very time consuming. So no hard and fast rules, each piece taken on its own merit.
What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition?:
Total absorption in my work.
What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received which you would be willing to share?:
Paint to please yourself and have faith in your own ability
How has your style changed over the years?:
My style has remained fairly constant throughout the years, but my technique has definitely developed. Perhaps I have moved just a little, from only using 'photorealistic' to a slight tendency towards impressionism.
Do you have any upcoming events we should know about?:
Not at present, but have some paintings exhibited in MarketHarborough Building Society Kettering. Will also be exhibiting in All Saints Church Kettering during October this year.