What brought you to Ironbridge fine arts?
Trusty Google brought me to Ironbridge Fine Arts. I wanted a series of Limited Edition prints from my original coloured pencil drawing of a Snow Leopard, and ‘Snow Queen’ which was being featured in ‘Colored Pencil’, an American magazine for coloured pencil artists. I was searching for a local printer and happily, it brought me here.
How did your journey into being an artist begin?
Probably like most artists, my art journey began when I was a small child with a pencil in my hand, and a colouring book on the floor in front of me. That eternal, primitive fascination of making marks – think cave paintings – had me in its grip immediately.
As I grew up, if my cat killed a mouse or a bird, I would be there drawing every tiny detail, wondering at the delicacy of a fragile mouse ear and marvelling at how such a tiny body could function. I now know, however, that those little white ‘beads’ I found nestling in a mouse’s fur were ticks! But still, they went into my drawings then. I don’t include them nowadays.
Later, I desperately wanted to go to Art College but was packed off to a secretarial college instead. ‘Something to fall back on,’ they said. As a result, that’s all I did for many years… ‘fall back’.
I was a very bad, bored secretary and spent more time gazing out of the window than typing. But when my children were small, and when time allowed, I returned to the drawing board. At that time, I was exploring pen and ink using Rotring drafting pens. I was always fascinated by the depth of detail I could go into using these pens. The natural world was my favourite subject, drawn (no pun intended) as I had always been, to nature in all its forms.
I already accept pet portrait commissions and have recently completed a commission to draw the eyes of a Lion, Cheetah and Leopard based upon the client’s photographs from his recent Wildlife Safaris. These were quite large pieces (for me) and allowed me to really explore the detail of the fur surrounding the eye and of the intricacies of the eye itself.
Over the years I have dabbled in various mediums but was always rather afraid of colour. It would be so easy to get it wrong and make a mess of things. But more recently I discovered coloured pencils, and a whole new world opened up for me. These are a far cry from the often scratchy pencils I had as a child with the narrow range of colours. The range and quality of pigments, ease of control and lightfast qualities now available in pencil form offers exciting potential.
And it is this medium that has brought me the publication of two animal portraits. ‘Snow Queen’, a Snow Leopard, and ‘Ava’ a beautiful Lurcher, both of which have been published in Color Pencil Magazine.
How would you describe your artwork?
Detail has always fascinated me, the lie of the fur, the muscle structure under the skin, the light reflected in an animal’s eye, and the wrinkles in an elephant’s skin. The delicate stamens and stigma of a flower, the veins of a leaf… Exploring the depth of detail to be found in the natural world is what keeps me at the drawing board for hours on end.
How do you plan to take your artwork forward?
Recently I have begun to dabble in soft pastels. I so admire the work of professional pastel artists and am tentatively experimenting with that medium. I also want to stretch myself further with different subjects, landscape, more floral and possibly when I feel brave, portraiture. But I feel that is a long way off. I have mountains to climb first.
That’s the beauty of art, there’s always something new to learn, new products, new methods, new subjects. And new challenges. When I feel ready, I will enter a drawing in ‘Sketch for Survival and similar competitions. To give something back to support vital conservation work will be my way of saying ‘Thank you’ to the natural world which brings me endless delight and inspiration.
What would you say about the Framing, Giclee Printing and scanning services at Ironbridge fine arts?
Ironbridge Fine Arts services are second to none. Everyone is friendly and helpful and nothing is too much trouble. I love how professional my artwork looks once it has had the Ironbridge Fine Arts treatment. They lift it to another level entirely. And it is always a pleasure to wander around the gallery admiring fellow artists’ work. There is always something new to admire.
What would you say to someone who is thinking of using the services at Ironbridge Fine Arts?
I unreservedly recommend Ironbridge Fine Arts to my customers knowing they will be delighted with the quality of the workmanship and the materials they use. They know what they are doing and they do it so well.
Has the Ironbridge Fine Art’s team helped to elevate your artwork using the creative ways of bespoke framing and mounting a piece?
Certainly, it has. I am not confident in choosing mounts and frames, but their gentle guidance and advice has never let me down. I am always delighted with how professional my artwork looks after it has been through their expert hands. They make me look like I know what I’m doing, and I can hand over my artwork to my client with confidence.
I would just like to say how genuinely honoured I feel to have my work among such talented artists, print makers, sculptors etc who exhibit at Ironbridge Fine Arts