I have lived most of my life in Suffolk, growing up in the village of Elmsett, and attending Hadleigh High School where I developed a keen interest in art. After leaving school in 1987, I followed my other love, which is animals, and have been working at Highcliff Veterinary Practice for the last 30 years, mainly as a nurse, latterly becoming a receptionist.
Painting has always been my hobby and I would like to think that my love of nature shows clearly through my work. My prime subject is to draw and paint birds and I have become a keen birder in my spare time. My preferred medium is now acrylics and I like to create very detailed work of both bird and background. The choice of mounting and frame, their colour, style and size, is an important part of my art and I give considerable thought to this aspect of the finished creation. I feel it enhances the painting, especially when one particular tone in the surround sensitively picks up even a hint of a shade in my subject. I sense the work comes more alive and is then truly complete.
I much prefer to specialise in producing originals, although my high quality, limited edition, giclee prints are proving extremely popular, sometimes even mistaken for an original. Each run is strictly limited to 25 and it gives me great pleasure to know more people have shown an interest in one particular painting. Three of my works have actually already completed their full run! As well as my chosen subjects, I am also open to painting particular birds in different settings and have been pleased to be commissioned to do so on several occasions.
I have exhibited in East Anglia for some thirty years, starting with a gallery in Hadleigh, Suffolk and continuing at various other local venues including St Marys Church, Stoke by Nayland, Needham Market, Sudbury, Tendring and Suffolk Shows. Another recent opportunity was at Holt, the ancient market town in Norfolk with its many prestigious galleries. Having been a regular contributor to the Art Exhibition at the Hadleigh Show for the last 14 years, I was privileged to be invited as featured artist in 2011. Since then, I have just completed three years as Head Steward of the Art Exhibition Committee for the Show, only finishing that informative phase of my art world to concentrate on my painting even more. I am now a member of the Bury St Edmunds Art Society and, after having a nerve racking few days of waiting to hear if my work was up to their exacting standards, I am pleased to have been accepted into the Suffolk Art Society. I have now started to contribute to both of their regular exhibitions.
In July 2015, Brett Gallery opened in Monks Eleigh, one of Suffolk’s many pretty villages, and I was thrilled to be asked to exhibit a selection of my originals and fine art prints. Brett Gallery is part of Bridge Farm Barns, a collection of unique, independent retail outlets and attractions with a welcoming tea room, each offering the visitor an unparalleled range of distinctive products with good service in a relaxing environment. To be an opening contributor of this exciting new project, with its fresh surroundings, opened up new another new horizon for me. After over two years, the Gallery continues to go from strength to strength and I understand I am one of their top selling exhibitors. As well as giving me the opportunity to exhibit regularly in a gallery, it also enables me to continue to learn more about the fine art world. My paintings have traditionally been on high quality paper though I have now expanded my range. This includes painting birds on old milk churns, watering cans and slates, each project arising from an idea from a client or indeed, as with the slates, a holiday in the Lake District! My “One of a Kind” catalogue also includes keepsake and jewellery boxes as well as box frame pictures for those special occasions.
Now living in Hadleigh, most of my painting is still done from my stable studio in Elmsett, which overlooks many bird feeders. Apart from enjoying my art, the ultimate pleasure for me is knowing that someone wishes to hang one of my creations in their home.