For the first time in awhile, this year (2015) I have started painting again. Its not as easy as you might think crossing over from printmaking to painting, I’ve loved it and the finished pieces, but shall we say its been very challenging, obviously this is a good thing to push yourself out of your comfort zone!
I studied HND ceramics at Cumbria College of Art and Design from 1992-1994 From here I decided the next step was a degree and was accepted into the second year at Cardiff Institute which at the time was one of the best ceramic courses in the country. I immersed myself in the course my drawing work becoming as important as the clay work. Graduating in 1996 my next focus was travel. In 1997 we embarked on a trip of a lifetime to Africa. We spent 17 months working and travelling around Southern Africa, mainly in Zimbabwe and Malawi. We had a fabulous introduction to the diverse craft world in Zimbabwe as the couple we stayed with in Harare sold crafts, we travelled all over Zimbabwe with them buying crafts direct from the makers. With little or no access to clay my sketchbook work became increasingly important to me. I believe Africa re-introduced me to nature, I witnessed the most beautiful and extreme flora and fauna, it was here I found the most amazing tree of all – the baobab 'the upside down tree'.
In 2006 I was 1 of 4 artists chosen to take part in a printmaking Residency in the Scottish Highlands at The Highland Print Studio. I lived in Cromarty, North of Inverness (if you listen to Radio 4 you might have heard it mentioned on their shipping forecast), it was like living in the middle of a nature reserve. It was a fabulous opportunity in which I immersed myself in printmaking for 3 months (I did so much work here when I returned to Brighton it felt like I had been away for 1 year). I have continued printmaking ever since, in 2009 crossing over from being a full time painter to printmaker. With printmaking I am constantly learning new techniques which keeps the whole process very exciting. At first I was mainly concentrating on making Lino-cuts and I taught myself the technique of chine colle whilst making the odd screenprint. Now it is the complete opposite, I have become addicted to the process of screeprinting as each print I make I learn something new, its such an exciting and sometimes very challenging process …. but that is why I love it.