About the Artist
"I have always had a passion for drawing people, studying the translucency of the skin from the angelic glow of a child's face to the weathered texture of a life time of toil".
Encouraged as a small child by an artistic mother, I always sketched family members and pets, being able to capture a good likeness. From school through to college, my ability to draw became apparent and was recognised throughout my home town of Colchester in Essex. I had taken to pastels after years of painting in watercolour. The transition happened when working on a portrait….. "With watercolours I couldn't keep the smooth texture of the skin and the more I worked at it, the rougher the 'skin' got. Frustrated, I picked up a box of pastels that I'd had from college and almost closed my eyes as I chalked over the face I'd been working on for hours, cringing with the fear of having to throw the whole picture in the bin…. I smudged it over with my finger. The result was amazingly smooth and definitely 'skin' like. I put away the watercolours and invested in many shades of quality pastels".
In 1997 and keen to enter into the art world, I offered my services to organisations to produce promotional portraits which came with good media coverage and helped my business catapult within its first year. I was introduced to various artists and teachers and was offered a place to work alongside Royal portrait artist Richard Stone who had admired my work through the local press. In 2003 I took up teaching art within local clubs and private classes, holding exhibitions and encouraging 11 to 16 year olds to develop their artistic talents with workshops using different mediums.
From 2008, I had the immense pleasure of working with Colchester Zoo in Essex when I became their Artist in Residence. From holding art classes in the Zoo and working with children during the school holidays to portray their favourite animals, one of my greatest adventures was to work closely with the Zoo's great managerial team on their 'Stand Tall' project for their 50th anniversary. This saw many local artists give up their time to design and create personal works of art on 2.5m giraffe sculptures. These were then displayed around Colchester and even took a tour to London's South Bank before they came back to the Zoo for auction. It was with much excitement to see one of my giraffes (Big Catrina) sell to the highest bidder at £6800.
Developing very unique drawing skills, I have helped students from all over the world with many varying art abilities to accomplish their artistic dreams. With a limited palette of chalks, and a vast experience in pastel application, my teaching took me to places I hadn't even dreamed of. Constantly moving forward and learning new ways to pass on my skills, I would say that teaching students of all ages is in my blood now. It has become a passion to show others the beauty of this versatile medium.
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