Whilst studying graphic design at University, life took an unexpected turn when I won the Royal Society of Arts Student Design Award, which included an internship in the design department at John Lewis in London and a travel bursary to study in India!
I had some amazing adventures travelling the subcontinent and loved the vibrant culture and vivid colours. The seven months that I spent there has certainly had a lasting impression on me. I then went on to become a specialist teacher of art and design, working at schools in Manchester, Stafford and Chesterfield, completing my 25 year career as Head of Art at Chapel High School in Derbyshire.
I am now a full time artist working from my home studio in Buxton. I started painting flowers and gardens but more recently my work has taken on a more graphic style inspired by the architecture in my home town and the places I visit. I’m mad about colour which I combine with my love of buildings and I’m drawn to decorative details which I record in my sketchbook. I was delighted to win the Buxton Spa Prize People’s Choice Award for my painting of the Cavendish Arcade, which combines decorative elements of the building with vibrant colours and snippets of collage.
Drawing plays a big part in my work and I think it’s a really important part of painting. I always say to my students if you want to improve your painting you must first improve your drawing! Working in a sketchbook allows me to create quick sketches in situ which I can later refer to when working in the studio. They also make a lovely memento of the special places I have travelled to.
Outside of my professional life I like spending time with my family, walking our dog Monty, gardening, travelling and meeting friends for afternoon tea.