I have always loved drawing. I was fascinated by the paintings my Nanna did and how her house always smelt of oil paints. When he retired, my Grandfather started making frames for them as she exhibited and sold them on Bognor sea front with the art club.
In 2017 I joined Winchester art club and was delighted to win the “best acrylic” prize of that year, my prize presented to me by the mayor. This really spurred me on!
At the beginning of the first lockdown I divided my time between zoom lessons for my students, cajoling my daughters into playing various trios to entertain elderly relatives and practising Bach’s Chaconne as well as Dvorak’s beautiful “Romance.” The problem with Bach’s Chaconne is that it is horrendously difficult, but like a beautiful musical and technical puzzle. I never tired of practising it and realised I was playing it for up to three hours a day and wanting to do more! When I stopped, I would notice my ears would ring. One day as I started to play I realised I had sprained my thumb. At various points I have had tendonitis due to violin playing, and seeing the signs, knew immediately I had to give my hand a good rest for a few weeks.
It was miserable. The news was so desperate from around the world and I started to think of all the places I wanted to be but had no way of visiting.Then, three huge canvases, ordered by my husband turned up. He is not very good with a tape measure and we were most surprised at the size of them. I got out my oil paints and started to paint the Cliffs at Porthcurno, a beautiful tree from a local walk, and a fantasy scene inspired by a concert we went to at Red Rocks, Colorado in 2019.
I didn’t realise how messy oil paint is though and before I learned to be a bit neater, I seemed to spend the summer with paint on my hands, face and in my hair! My clouds are always painted with my fingers.
I was then commissioned by a friend to paint another large canvas of Porthcurno and then another commission for a smaller version of the same tree.I am terribly self-critical, but I really like most of my lockdown paintings.
I am fascinated by other artist’s work and particularly the use of light. I suppose my favourite artist is David Inshaw, for his dreamlike scenes. I have a huge print of his “Cricketers” painting, and again this is like having a window looking out on the beautiful South West English countryside. I am hugely inspired by the beautiful light and atmosphere Lars van Trier creates in his film “Melancholia”. My teenagers think I am really strange for my obsession with this film which is about the end of the world but I love its uplifting message!
I have more recently had commissions painting people, a motorbike and animals which I have enjoyed enormously.
I will tackle painting anything from a good photograph or from life. I try to paint every day. My best critic might be my dog though. I caught him recently sitting looking up at a painting I did of my husband. He did a little bark at it. Such a shame I couldn’t ask him what he thought!