I am originally from Wigan in Lancashire where I studied art and design and gained a BA Fashion (HONS) at the University of Salford where I met my husband. After starting a family I retrained as a nurse almost 15 years ago and moved to North Cumbria where I continued my career, I have been proud to be a nurse but I felt this has satisfied me creatively. After a difficult few years in my personal life, I decided that my creative self had laid dormant for too long and decided that it was time to feel whole again and so enrolled on a Masters course. I am studying for an MA in Creative Practice with my focus on fine art printmaking with a crossover into illustration.
As an artist I am influenced by the natural world around me and feel a profound and emotional connection with nature, I see the beauty in the mundane, the things that people pass in the street I find fascinating and want to explore. I draw Inspiration from my love of nature which I immerse myself in as much as I can. Although I am still exploring my process as an artist I find that experiences where I have had the opportunity to interact or connect with a location and explore the surrounding environments and inhabitants will spark off an idea that starts a chain reaction, from here I will make quick field sketches to capture an essence of a place and capture its spirit knowing that it will later evoke memories that I have experienced on location. These sketches are made with mixed media using pencil, pen and ink, pastel and watercolour and are very rough. The next stage in my process is to go away and research and sift through reference material, this is usually because a fleeting glimpse of a goldfinch does not give me enough opportunity to draw an accurate image and so I will need to source images from elsewhere to support me with this, however I never completely ‘design’ the print by copying a finished sketch and putting it on to the block because I find this too edited and restrictive.
I like to form a collection based on an idea or location to start a series of images, the subsequent choice of collograph or linocut comes from the sketches produced from the reference piece, I find that collograph gives me a more etherial image whereas linocut is bolder and stronger in the final outcome, both I find wonderful but very different outcomes. Working with print helps me to loosen up my style and become more abstract when producing images. I am drawn to print as a process because although there is a technique and there are so many variables which will influence the final image. I can intend to produce an image which I have visualised and often the final image varies from my expectation, a serendipitous experience to which I surrender quite happily.