I was recently asked to take part in an artist interview for the Salisbury Arts Scene newsletter and this seemed a good place to begin my ramblings...
What is the best part of your job?
By far, it’s connecting with my customers.
I feel privileged when someone is prepared to spend their hard earned cash on one of my paintings and the next best thing to a selling a painting are the discussions that occur around my work.
Those that engage with my work are strangers to me and me to them but their connection with my work is a thread of common ground between us, I love that.
The critics would say that kind words won’t pay the bills and while that fact can’t be denied, positive engagement does nourish my soul.
Which part do you hate the most?
Without a doubt I hate the social media side - I use Instagram because I’m told I should by my artist peers, which irritates me even more than Instagram because I just don’t see the benefits that they do.
My little studio at Fisherton Mill is everything to me that Instagram is not – it’s where I find real, genuine people, with real lives and a real interest in art and supporting local artists. It’s also where I can be found, covered in paint, ready to chat about all things painty.
What or who inspires you most?
Colour is my inspiration. I’m always on the lookout for interesting colour combinations.
Do you have a favourite place to visit for inspiration?
Heading out for a walk always works – it doesn’t matter what the weather, where or how far I go. I’ll always have my camera to hand and take a lot of photographs but I think it’s what I see along the way that inspires me – the experience of just being out, taking it all into the melting pot for use when I paint.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
To paint for myself, not for others.
Does your art represent something about you?
When I paint it’s a place for me to quieten the noises in my head, to escape the crap of everyday life and just be happy – I think this ‘happy’ is reflected in my paintings.
What motivates you?
I have a professional background in Construction which I don’t want to have to go back to. Add to that a family who always told me I couldn’t earn a living as an artist and there’s my motivation - a need to succeed. If I could send my younger self a message through time, I’d say don’t let anybody dissuade you – it might not be an easy path but you have to find out for yourself.
Why are you drawn to this subject/style of art?
I love painting abstracts. I put this down to being an over-thinker and a control freak, living in my head most of the time. When I paint abstracts, I get to leave my head and paint what I feel.
What is your creative process like?
Choosing a colour palette and surface is about as much planning as I do. I can too easily get caught up with over-thinking and planning so I find it best to just start. I don’t know what I’m doing or what the outcome should or will be – I just paint and let the happy take over...that’s how it is on a good day anyway!
What’s the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
At a very early age my dad pointed out to me that telling the truth is much easier than having to remember the details around a lie and while he was right, being truthful has also gotten me into a lot of trouble over the years – a lot of people just aren’t ready for the truth and would sooner shoot the messenger rather than reflect on the message.
But like an eejit, I still try to live truthfully and with integrity but have to admit that the older I get the more tempting lies seem...it would only be a little white one, honest!