Born in Zimbabwe, Africa, where I lived until I was four, I grew up on Teesside in the North East of England. Always busy drawing and making things as a child, I was greatly encouraged by my parents, especially my dad who was an excellent artist and draftsman himself. He ran an engineering company and used to bring home massive sheets of paper, printed plans which were blank on the back ready to be filled with drawings. In the summer I stayed with my gran by the sea where we made things together; sewing and crochet and rag rugs.
I had the chance to go to Cambridge where I read geography at Sidney Sussex College. It was a magical time for a girl who had not ventured much beyond the moors of North Yorkshire and summers on the Essex coast.
Then came a few years travelling around the world with my coffee-trader husband and looking after our two small children - Greece, Germany, Kenya. The light and colour of the African landscapes had a big impact on my work. I always carried on painting...
In 1993 I found myself a single mum in Shropshire and began a career in illustration. A professional illustrator for 25 years, I have illustrated twenty children’s books for Usborne Publishing and have licensed designs for many international brands.
In the past few years I have concentrated on fine art and making original pieces,working from my studio in a beautiful old town house in Shrewsbury which I share with with my partner Nigel, a very creative musician.
about my work
Paintings of birds and animals set in jewel colours with gold leaf tell the story of a paradise garden. The freedom and colour of birds can be emblematic of so many human traits and conditions. We mostly live in cities where we might long for an enclosed garden in which to find an hour of sunlit peace. In a time of intense change I aim to celebrate what’s important in this world.
Building up layers of watercolour and sometimes acrylic on paper or gesso I paint with strong, warm colours. I then apply gold leaf, inscribing drawings and pattern into the gold that tells another part of the story. Rich in detail and patterning, these pieces are uplifting and illuminate a room. I’m aiming to create a modern yet timeless fragment. Medieval and Renaissance art and Indo-Persian art are a great inspiration. My paintings are rooted in ancient culture but have a contemporary feel.
The Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary Watercolour Competition have selected my work for their exhibition at Bankside Gallery for the last four years. In 2017 I was the winner of the Dry Red Press Award.
Please contact me to discuss commissions.
I am always happy to take payments by installments.