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Creation and Joy

I am a Fine Artist based in the South Lakes, Cumbria, UK. I studied Theatre Design in Birmingham before completing a PGCE in Lancaster in teaching and a MA in Film and TV Production Design in Kingston. After completing my studies and working freelance on various TV work, I went on to be Head of Art and Design, Photography and Media Studies in a school outside London before moving back to the Lake District in 2010. I currently teach fulltime A level and Post 18 Art, Design and Photography as well as working on her own creative practice. I have always worked on my own creative practice whilst working full time and completed commissions over the years in a variety of media and subject matter as well as being a life style and wedding photographer for a short time.

I have always felt the urge to be creative and find myself twitch and itching to do something if I have a break for a week or two, its addictive to express ideas through paint or drawing. For me creating artwork is a need for me to unload my thoughts and emotions. My artwork comes from within and often contains locations or motifs that are personal or from my surroundings. I have always enjoyed colour and nature, and when I paint I love exploring different colour palettes to provoke different emotions and feelings. Art to me should be something to be enjoyed and bring different meanings to those who look upon it.

I enjoy working with portraits, the human face can show a variety of emotions and can create mystery and intrigue. I have a passion and love for lighting, colour and a sense of narrative within my work due to my background in film. My love of narrative and storytelling within the image, I hope creates intrigue and invite the viewer to interpret ideas for themselves, to question and be thoughtful. Even before the pandemic I was working with the ideas of masks and how we all hide our feelings/emotions/thoughts behind a mask. This body of work was completed in graphite and explored various masks on faces.

My recent work has been a true investigation into my own mental health and reflects my inner thoughts. During the pandemic painting was my life line. I enjoyed rediscovering colour within portraiture and using elements at juxtapositions to develop compositions that created new ideas. My work contains motifs of floral elements associated with emotions, feminine traits and awareness of balance within compositions, through colour and texture. One motif I have repeatedly used is that of a butterfly. The butterfly is a symbol for Lupus, the autoimmune disease representing the most visible of the Lupus symptoms the ‘butterfly rash’. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia eight years ago and my Mother and sister have Lupus so the use of butterflies in my art often symbolises our journey and fight. The butterfly represents the sensitivity to touch that many with Fibro experience and the dots on the butterfly represent tender points and pain caused by touch or movement. The lock down gave me time to re-energise my artwork and reflect inwardly to express outwardly in my painting. Through expressing floral elements, I have explored the Queen of flowers the peony in recent work. A flower that can bring joy and beauty into the world during some dark times. These flowers represent regrowth, strength and resilience as well as feminine beauty and softness.

Although my artwork is personal and symbolic I hope that others can relate to the images too and see their own links and connections within the artwork. Art should be enjoyed in its creation but also in its viewing and allow the viewer to see their own stories and emotions. Life is busy as I have two children and a beagle to run around after so taking time to create is sometimes difficult. This year has been the first time I have entered galleries and exhibitions having my work in Italy and Spain and even at the Louvre in Paris. I hope people look at my work and can enjoy as much as I enjoy creating.

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