Could you tell us a bit about your background?
I grew up in London as number 4 out of 5 children. We are all pretty creative and I have always loved being a part of a large and close family. I think my family would say that I have always been extremely imaginative, however, it wasn’t always my chosen path to be an artist. I even had a place at Bristol University to study Politics, which I cancelled very last minute in favour of Leith School of Art in Edinburgh.
My passion was always there for art from about 14 onwards, but it was truly ignited when I went to Florence to study in the Summer Programme at Charles H Cecil Studios. I met a few people on the course who were studying at Leith and when I came home I managed to get a very last minute place on the painting course.
I trained fairly traditionally in portraiture and life painting which is how I began my career as an artist. I then moved back to London and studied on the Drawing Intensive Year at the Royal Drawing School in London. During this time I moved away from representational work and towards the abstraction of the female form.
My work is now fairly abstract, with the aim to evoke a feeling of femininity and calm. As someone who struggles with their mental health, it is really important for me to keep painting and to reflect within my work the meditative nature of painting.
How do you drop into the creative process?
I usually try to get the admin at the top of my list done so I don’t need to worry about it (although, I have to admit, admin is not my forte). I then plug my headphones in to some music, depending on the day but it can range from Ludovico Einaudi to Tracy Chapman to Lily Moore to Tame Impala.
I really don’t plan my work, much preferring to lock into my instincts in terms of colour and composition. My work has recently become more abstract and I have enjoyed painting using very watered down paints, spreading the paint with my hands over the canvas. I have loved using my hands in this way, instead of a paintbrush, feeling the material as I go and embracing the idea of chance within the work.
What do you find most rewarding about being an artist?
I think probably the privilege of being able to create every day and call it my job. I pinch myself all the time and I feel so lucky. If I go for a period of time where I am creating less for any reason, I feel such an integral urge within me to make something with my hands.
I love being able to be in the studio with music on and immersing myself in the work in front of me. My work more recently has become a lot more abstract, working with layers and layers of very watered down paint. This is rewarding in itself as each layer takes a while to dry, meaning I am working on a few paintings at one time. After a few weeks of working on a piece it is a very rewarding feeling to see how the layers have dried on top of one another, hopefully creating a feeling of depth within the work.
What are your top three tips for nurturing creativity?
Ooh good question. I would say practice and practice. Ideally something everyday (it doesn’t have to take too long) if you can. Work it into your daily routine and I am sure your skills will improve and you may begin to see your own style more clearly, or the work you be creating. See art! Always. Go to as many shows as you can. Let your eyes feast on the work of artists, dead and alive, famous and unknown. I always get so much inspiration from seeing other artists’ work. Take photos of the work you like. Then, after the show, take a look at all of these pictures together. This can be so telling as to the work you are drawn to, and can often point you in the direction of the type of work you should create.
Finally - write. Over the last year I have been trying to do morning pages first thing every day. You write at least 3 sides as soon as you wake up. This can be whatever comes out of your head at the time. What you write doesn’t matter, but it is an amazing way to introduce creativity before you have done anything that day. It is also brilliant for mental health and a way to sort your thoughts out on paper. I love to write whatever of my dreams I can remember.
You’ve recently hosted a creative retreat in Mallorca which looked incredible. What was your intention for the retreat?
Ah, it really was wonderful! Made even better by your DAY Drops. Our intention for the retreat was to bring together a group of women from all over the world, looking for a way to reconnect with themselves and their creativity. The aim was to explore creativity through painting, serve our selves and our minds through yoga, and to nourish our bodies and souls with delicious vegetarian food. For me, the retreat exceeded all my expectations and we really hope to recreate this magic for our future Sol Creative Retreats.
Were there any little nuggets of wisdom or inspiration that came out through the retreat that you can share with us?
We had a Soul Deck from Then and Now Studio. We each pulled a card from the deck on the first afternoon. One of the cards was ‘Intuition’. We spent a lot of the retreat discussing this topic. The gut feeling when you just know something. I am not sure if this can classify as a nugget of wisdom, but it is something that I often reflect on.
During my painting classes, I asked the guests to not pre plan their paintings. To work as I do, which is to take each step/ colour at a time and let your intuition guide the painting. For me, the notion of following your intuition was a real theme to the retreat.
When I asked Viviana, the Sol Chef, this question. I thought her answer was very beautiful so I would love to share it. “This is such a nice question. For me I guess it was sharing the rawness and vulnerability of ourselves with other women, embracing our flows and then rediscovering them as unique beautiful traits through the help of each one of us”
CBD is thought to aid focus and creativity due to the interaction with the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain and neural system. How would you describe your personal experiences with CBD? What aspect of your life has it had the most impact on?
I have really loved my CBD experience with APOTHEM. I have taken the night time drops in the past and they immediately send me into a heavenly slumber. With the DAY Drops, however, I can see the benefits are truly from taking them every day and over a longer period. I suffer with anxiety and over the last month or so taking the drops I have felt a huge difference. I have felt a lot more level headed when facing things that would usually send me into a panic. So, thank you, APOTHEM!
Do you have any wellness rituals you try to implement into your lifestyle regularly?
Probably too many! I definitely don’t manage to do all of these daily. But my ideal day would be to wake up and write my morning pages with a cup of hot lemon water. Then head to the gym or do some kind of workout. After showering I’ll take all my vitamins as well as my DAY Drops. Then I’ll head to the studio and aim to to a meditation when I arrive in the studio. This takes me up to about 10am and then I can get to work!
What’s coming up next for you that you’re excited to share?
I have two solo exhibitions coming up! I haven’t exhibited by myself since December 2018, so I am really delighted / apprehensive. The first will be in September with Partnership Editions and the second will be in December at Alex Eagle Studio. My work has recently become a lot more abstract, so I am really excited for people to see it in the flesh. Please come along! I also have an exciting collaboration with With Nothing Underneath. Watch this space.