I am thrilled to say that I am on the cover of the September 2022 issue of Artists & Illustrators! My pastel portrait Bonny Miss Bonnie is smiling at passers by from newstands, gracing the computers of digital subscribers and cheering up coffee tables across the UK and overseas.
Inside the magazine there is a six page ‘In the Studio’ feature exploring my artistic inspirations, motivations and methods. Seeing my work in print is always exciting, and to have my drawings in a magazine I have enjoyed for many years is very flattering.
Being an artist can be a pretty isolating job. I am not one of those who spends a lot of time on social media connecting with people, and in-person events are few and far between at the moment due to other commitments, so having an opportunity like this to reach a wider audience than I ever would on my own is something I am very grateful for.
The interview questions I was posed were excellent, they really made me reflect on what I do and why. And when I asked those who follow me online which 10 artworks people felt best represent my work, I received a brilliant response with many considered replies. All of those votes and comments helped inform the selection of pictures I submitted for this feature, so thank you to everyone who contributed and encouraged me.
You can get your copy of Artists & Illustrators in many highstreet retailers, major supermarkets and independent newsagents, or visit the A&I website and buy or subscribe online.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also be interested in this article about my feature in Cornwall Life Magazine.
Dexter is a very handsome Parsons Jack Russell. As a much loved family dog, this commissioned portrait was the perfect choice for a thoughtful and personal Christmas gift.
When I met with the client who commissioned this portrait, she had a number of beautiful photographs of dear Dexter from which we chose the best reference images. We wanted to capture his personality and also to show off his markings, including the tan spots on his ear, so agreed on this pose and composition. I love how he looks both alert and relaxed, and I can imagine him bounding around the park having the time of his life playing with his family.
Dexter’s portrait has been drawn in pastel. This medium lends itself to capturing the rich colours as well as the wiry textured coat which is so distinctive of a long haired Jack Russell. And it blends beautifully to create a smooth and creamy backdrop of soft focus trees, giving a sense of time and place as well as a rich colour for Dexter to stand proud against.
As someone who really loves dogs and relishes every opportunity to make a new canine friend, I had a wonderful time studying Dexter and drawing his portrait. I know that this artwork is treasured by his family, and will serve as a lasting celebration of a very special pet.
I recently spent a really enjoyable afternoon with a photographer friend of mine, Paul B Nash. Paul kindly agreed to take some photographs for me so that I can share a little of my artist’s life in my Cornish studio. The trend for taking selfies has completely passed me by, and I would far rather be drawing than staging arty shots to present myself on social media, so any images of me at work were practically non-existent. Paul is one of those people who excells at whatever he turns his hand to and is a fellow artist also. He has a wealth of photographic experience across a broad range of genres, and I have huge respect for his skill and his vision when documenting the world around him.
So in the middle of a heatwave (I could have timed that better!) Paul and I spent a few hours sharing our love of art and imagery. I now have a wonderful range of photographs that remind me of good conversation, lots of laughter, and capture this stage of my artistic journey beautifully.
Some of Paul’s photographs from this shoot are featured on my website, and a further selection are below.
I am very grateful to Paul for sharing his knowledge and skills with me in this way, and I highly recommend you take a look at his website and enjoy his remarkable photography. It ranges from landscapes to portraiture, wildlife to architecture, street photography to still life, and explores a wide range of styles and inspirations.
To share with you something of the process of creating one of my artworks, I have created this montage of eight stages of A Handful of Lotus Seeds. This is a pastel painting, using pastel pencils on Pastelmat paper. This allows for a lot of detail which is of course important to me, and as the pastel builds and blends on the page it becomes beautifully creamy.
This artwork has already proved very popular with those who have seen it. The rich earthy colours draw people in, and the contrasting blurred background with the highly detailed hands creates an image that invites closer inspection. For me it is these things plus the narrative that is created that excites, I can just imagine someone crouching down before a mass of lotus seeds, scooping them up in her hands, and how they must sound and feel. We are transported to her world, an act that is no doubt immensely familar to her whilst to myself at least, something I have never experienced yet can still relate to.
It is the commonality in difference that is the driving force behind so much of my artwork. We are all completely individual, yet in so many ways fundamentally the same.
Once the full series of hands studies has been completed, I will make available limited edition prints and greetings cards of A Handful of Lotus Seeds, A Handful of Salt, A Handful of Chillies and the others.
Thanks go to Réhahn Photography for his amazing image.