The Full Story
Art has always fascinated me, and from a very young age, creating has been my primary method of expression. I grew up in Middlesbrough, in the North East of England. As a shy child, I spent the majority of my time making things… toys, puppets and doll’s houses. I remember my mum commenting on how I was much more interested in decorating the doll’s house than actually playing with the dolls! My natural affinity with texture and colour led me to study Printed Textiles at the Glasgow School of Art. Secretly I wanted to study Fine Art but I didn’t speak up and never told anyone, not a soul!
Fast forward twenty-odd years, and I have a family and a career in retail. I co-own two lifestyle shops in Kensal Rise and Kensal Green where my business partner and I compose new windows and themes for the shops regularly. Who’d have thought all of that doll’s house decorating would come in handy?
My art journey resumed when I picked up The Artist’s Way, a workbook for creatives by Julia Cameron, in which she emphasises the importance of focusing on the process rather than the product. This was a light bulb moment. It freed me to be playful in my practice. I began by carrying a sketchbook with me wherever I went, drawing strangers on the tube, in cafes and much to their annoyance my family at home! Determined to get a likeness, I attended life drawing classes all over London. I now teach life drawing at the very same local art school where I attended my first life drawing classes. Of all things!
Alongside drawing, I began to explore painting, mostly in the abstract style. I have always admired the Abstract Expressionists. The confidence with which they approached mark-making on such a scale inspired me to experiment with my own painting in a similar way. The process of creating became joyous and almost childlike. Drawing inspiration from the natural world, elements of landscapes began to emerge; the paintings reflecting the ever-changing interplay of light, colour and texture I observe around me. I work in oils, acrylics and spray paint, experimenting with different techniques to create layers of depth and luminosity.
Today I exhibit regularly and sell paintings in our shops and online. I cherish my time painting, if you would like to see where it all happens you are welcome to come for a studio visit.
My other life
Alongside my art practice I have co owned a successful retail business in London for 23 years. Verandah began its journey in Notting Hill. As the business expanded we moved to two larger premises in Kensal Rise and Kensal Green. Owning shops put me at the heart of the community. Meeting and building friendships with those people has been a constant source of nourishment. Designing the looks for the shops, creating innovative window displays and curating products from all over the world has fine tuned my eye for colour and composition.
The Other Art Fair, Truman Brewery, London. 12 - 16 Oct 2023
99 ProjectsGallery, London. 'My Local' Group show. 27 Jan - 18 Feb 2023
WWW Gallery, London. Group show. 1 - 31 Dec 2022
Stokey Pop Up, London. 'Conversations In Colour' hosted by Pilgrims Contemporary. 10 - 14 Nov 2022
The Other Art Fair, Truman Brewery, London. 13 - 16 Oct 2022
Willesden Gallery London. Solo show 'Romancing Medium' 10 - 21 May 2022
Willesden Gallery, London. Group show 'Locked Unlocked' 6-17 July 2021