I am a painter and interior designer. Each discipline influences and complements the other. As a painter I work in a variety of media - pen and ink, acrylic and plaster. My paintings are organised into collections, which each follow a thread of exploration. I often return to a thread as other ideas or thoughts emerge, so each collection continues to grow.
I design interiors as I would compose a painting, creating a balance and rhythm of colour and form for my clients to enjoy.
I originally began my series of flying birds in 2011 for my first solo show at the Jane Newbery gallery in London. This show marked a great change in my life at a point when I bid farewell to several difficult elements. Flying represents the moment when you finally fall into the pocket of who you naturally are - free from the dictats and concerns of others. The moment when you can fly free. A time of exhilaration and peace; tremendous movement and stillness; happiness and strength.
I chose pen and ink as the medium for these paintings because there is a clarity and simplicity to the quality of colour and line that can be achieved. They also require a particular discipline and focus. There is no room for error - once the mark is made it is there, there is no covering it up as with oil or acrylic. On the other hand pen and ink can produce a wonderful free flowing line, which is perfect for representing the sense of flight and movement in a bird’s wing. The combination of focus and free flow mirrors the experience of flying free.
Plants and natural forms
My series of plants and natural forms explores the contribution of ageing and imperfection to natural beauty. Does beauty always have to be young and perfect? The medium for these paintings is plaster, acrylic and ink on board. I created them by first drawing and scraping the form into wet plaster. The plaster generally dries in about 40 minutes and so the time for drawing is limited and has to be spontaneous, just as our lives are limited in time, but not by possibility.
I have been influenced and inspired by an eclectic array of painters and photographers, some of whose work I have seen in exhibition, others only through books. I've listed just a few of them below -
Trevor Bell - the latest book about him is fantastic
Nick Knight's ethereally beautiful photographs of pressed flowers in The Natural History Museum
Georgia O'Keeffe for her extraordinary flower paintings
Gary Hume for his colour, form and materials
Jo Self - for the inspiration she took from the flowers in her garden
Karl Blossfeldt - for the simplicity and strength of his plant photographs