Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).
I live in Nottingham with 5 cats and a husband. I have one son. I have always drawn and painted, beginning with the usual colouring books and paint by numbers which my fond parents thought would aid my artistic abilities, but which stifled my imagination. I progressed to drawing imaginary people, simple architectural plans, and dismal attempts at painting in school art lessons. At some point I began to do life and still life drawings in pen and pencil. I also discovered the joy of oil paint, and photography. At school I took O level art ( to escape needlework lessons ), but failed the exam, took it again at my own expense, and scraped a pass. Later, much later, I tried oil painting lessons, but felt restricted again, and City and Guilds Embroidery parts one and two; I could draw wonderful designs, but the practical application was, let’s say a few stitches short of a tapestry. I did pass with credits, which amazed me more than anyone. The benefits of this course were discovering juicy facts about the lives of famous embroiderers and their scandalous artistic acquaintances, learning about religious symbolism, and being informed of the colour wheel for the first time. My attitude and capabilities towards and in art have been intuitive, and experimental, I never fared well with instruction, and broke all the rules whether I knew them or not!
Studying the work of other artists, famous or not, has been both extremely interesting and inspiring. I particularly love the Pre-Raphaelites, Escher, Kandinsky, Klimpt, Georgia O’Keefe, Hopper, Jack Vettriano, 1930’s poster art, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Arts and Crafts, and our own local artistic hero Laura Knight, to name but a few!
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
A necklace with wool and paper to pass the time while I was off school with whooping cough at the age of 6.
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
Architecture, music, seaside and cats.
What are your favorite materials?
Paper, paints, pens and pencils, cotton and velvet fabric and ribbons.
What is your favorite color?
Red and purple
What are your most and least two favorite films?
Favorites: Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood), Nightmare Before Christmas. I have more favorites but you only asked for two!
Least favorites: Top Gun, Officer and a Gentleman
What are you reading right now?
Open University Humanities course material.
Any tips on selling handmade stuff?
Keep posting your work on Etsy. Post one or two things at regular intervals rather than a lot of of stuff in one go.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Open Univerity course, sing in a choir, write stories about my cats.
How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?
We need sub-divisions in the art category.