Strangely, it’s only recently that I’ve become interested in art and comparing my background to the other artists, I find myself in the unique category of having no qualifications in art and having spent my working life stuck in a bank!
It was our three children that inspired me to draw and create. I found myself, as most parents do, taking an incredible amount of photographs and from some of my favourites I would draw a pencil portrait. This led to commissions from friends and family who would see them upon our walls. I became hooked on sketching and drawing and started to become engrossed in the artwork in children’s books as I read the children stories at night. I loved in particular the loosest, suggestive sort of work, simple characters in beautiful watercolour worlds. I went on to create my own concept for this market, ‘Misty Nooks’, based on a girl called ‘Josephine’ and her toy unicorn named ‘Misty’ (I always wanted a unicorn as a little girl!).
Art though is a different world from illustration and it was my husband who nudged me in this direction. We’d just decorated our lounge and there was a big gap on the main wall. My husband suggested I do a piece of art depicting the family, but not a portrait. He ‘encouraged’ me further when he bought me two sets of pastels from the children for my birthday! Straight away I felt excited by the set of grey pastels; my husband knew I loved black and white photographs. I used to add a splash of watercolour over our black and white prints and I used to find the ones where I just added a touch of blue to be the most striking. So I came up with a hippo-like character (obviously in grey!) and made it bright eyed and with blue ‘markings’. And so the original ‘Loving Family’ (but with 5 of us) was created and I knew then that this was what I’d always wanted to do.