BA Honours Edinburgh
I started painting about ten years ago and experimented with various mediums including oils and acrylics before discovering the joy of silk painting. There is a beauty in the sheen of the silk which enhances the brightness and vibrancy of the painting.
I have always enjoyed working with line and pattern and spent several years learning the art of glass engraving. Designing for an engraving is very similar to designing for “gutta,” which is the line that restrains the flow of paint, on silk. Like many mediums, it is as much about what you leave out, as what needs to go in, so that the paint has room to flow freely across the surface.
As a member of SPIN (Silk Painters International) I have the opportunity to discuss ideas and techniques with fellow silk painters from as far afield as Thailand America and Iceland. As a consequence, I have learnt that, what I thought was a simple procedure, is in fact a complicated and very beautiful and varied art form. There are so many different techniques that can be combined to create any one piece – wet on wet , wet on dry, salting, waxing, seizing, and discharging to name but a few. Through experimentation I have learnt how to master some of these techniques. It is one huge and most enjoyable learning curve!
I live and paint in Bridport, Dorset where I have my own studio, but I also share working space in Lyme Regis, at STUDIO 19. In this studio gallery there is a community which provides an exciting, supportive and encouraging interaction between other artists and the visiting public. I have learnt a great deal from both positive, and occasionally negative feedback. Sometimes it is refreshingly interesting to try and look at a piece of work that you have become emotionally involved with through somebody else’s eyes. I have often taken a photograph of a piece of work and find that by distancing myself from the original I am able to see more clearly what needs to be changed to improve the overall.
My inspiration comes mainly from the sea, the wondrous creatures within it, and the emotions that it evokes. Hand in hand with this comes my love of photography, the ability to capture an instance, of motion, colour, or texture. I refer constantly to my photo library for images that I can combine in a painting. By nature I have always been drawn to pattern in the detail of living