My career started painting on commission in the late 1980s. It has been wide and varied career over the years. My earliest paintings were of offshore racing powerboats and I had work displayed at the London Boat Show. Clients included Fiona, Countess of Arran, the Toleman twins and the then Chairman of UKOBA (United Kingdom Offshore Boating Association). Following this I began painting house portraits and artist's impressions
Clients have included FPD Savills, Hamptons, Lane Fox, Wessex Frame Buildings Ltd,
Browns Estate Agent as well as many private clients. My artist's impressions have successfully supported planning applications and been used for advertising on hoardings and in brochures. I became a member of The Society of Architectural Illustration.
I also design illustrated maps which have an enormous appeal. They become a very personal representation of home, family and surroundings.
A map of Turtle Bay, Kenya included a Father Christmas on a camel and the orphaned young elephants from the Elefriends Project.
Poems and names are woven into the drawings.
The first map I designed was in 1994
for the wedding of Polly Samson and David Gilmour.
Over the years I was been commissioned by Polly and David to create other pieces including a highly decorated cot, which was included in one of Polly's books, Lying in Bed, in the story Blood Roses in the Snow. I have to say, having a piece of my art inspire a piece of fiction was quite a hightlight of my career. It was wonderful to think that an author would look at something I'd created and create further from it. I was so flattered when Polly told me and the way my cot had been described was just perfect, even if the tale was dark.
Over the years my illustrated maps have included such incredible diverse subjects. My husband thinks I'm probably the only artist to be asked to paint; the Torrey Canyon Disaster, a brawl during the Miner's strikes and the only known forger to be commemorated on a bank note. Confused? I'm not totally surprised. After years of interesting requests, I am no longer surprised by clients who ask me to paint something a 'little unusual' on their Life Map. They will certainly go down as talking points for family. People lead extraordinary lives and we all have such unique stories. It has been a pleasure and an honour over the years to lay people's lives out in illustrated form.
Over the years, I have also run art courses for children in schools. I was asked back year after year to Bedales Junior School, Dunhurst.
Here I co-run the successful Art and Drama Workshop
alongside Jenny de Jongh and Annabel Munn.
I have been Artist-in-Residence and presided over art weeks. I was described as "calm amid the chaos"
on an art week for over 300 children, it was quite a busy week to say the least! I have also privately tutored from my studio.
The life of a commissioned artist is never dull and
work appears at the oddest times. As a teenager waiting on the docks for a powerboat race to start, a powerboat racer who was standing on his Class 2 catamaran called to me to paint his boat,
"Yes, of course!" I shouted back,"We'll talk after the race." "But you'll need money....for paint and stuff!" He yelled over the roar of the engines and with that, unzipped his racing overalls. He pulled out a roll of notes peeling off a few twenties and passing them up, much to my bemusement.
Always discreet with my clients wishes and protective of their privacy, a number of them are in the film & music industry and military community. I build good working relations with my clients. On an invitation to a lunch with clients I decided not to tell my young children quite where they were heading off to. On the way up the long winding driveway, my son noticed the security cameras hidden in the trees. "What are the cameras for?" he asked "They're great animal lovers, they're filming the squirrels" I replied.
Art of a Laid Back Life
Over my thirty year career as an artist, I have gone through a few different phases. From painting offshore racing powerboats, rendering architectural illustrations, designing illustrated maps and painting military work. This has all been commissioned work for clients who I have been fortunate enough to work for. Over the last ten years, since my husband has been disabled and I have been his carer, I have found that art has it's healing properties, especially when the subject is the natural world around us. Going for long walks in the country side, always with a camera by my side and being able to get enjoyment from the beauty around is just wonderful. I created an Etsy shop called 'Laid Back Life' with my own non- commissioned paintings and photos. Laid Back Life isn't just a reference to my husband who has to lie down a lot now but also to our attitude to life. Even if your life becomes reduced in some form, there is always a way to enjoy what you do still have and be happy with the type of life you now live. From nature, widlife and our dear dogs, Artie and Jon's Canine Partner assistance dog Jester, my Instagram account celebrates all that we do have in our life. I also celebrate the carer, the charities which help, the Invictus athlete (as my husband was one of them!) and anything which makes me smile. If you'd like to join me on my journey through nature and life, I'd love to have you along! Just click on the swan and cygnets to go to my Instagram account or click on the huge(!) round photo of the carrot seed head to be taken to my links page for my Etsy shop.