Q & A session from questions posed by Natalie's facebook followers....
Where do you get your colour inspiration from?
Colour is the most important thing to me and my work, my inspiration comes from everything around me all of the time. I am always looking for the juxtaposition of colours and pattern.
Who are you inspired by?
My primary inspiration for Art is from my parents who both attended Camberwell Art School and work as Artists. I was taken to art galleries as a young child and always encouraged to draw and paint from an early age. A Steiner nursery school also encouraged me to draw and I have early memories of using crayons from their baskets..they looked like jewels .I was always drawing houses, flowers, trees and sunshine. In my bedroom as a child I had a print of Paul Klee’s Senecio at the end of my bed which has heavily influenced my work.
Even now I like to take the painting I am working on and hang it in my bedrooms so I can see it before I go to sleep and wake up to it in the morning. Mary Fedden, Patrick Heron, John Hoyland, Gillian Ayres, Julian Trevelyan are just a few of the artist that inspire me. I was thrilled to meet John Hoyland at his home in his studio when I was a student at Wimbledon School of Art.
What is your favourite colour to use in your artwork?
My favourite colour is Red, however subconsciously I always use blues in my paintings no matter how hard I try not to.
Do you use pencil before you use paint?
Sometimes I use a wet brush to loosely mark out some lines but most of the time I just go straight in with the paint.
Do you have workshops for children?
I would love to do a workshop for children and adults, and I have always wanted to do this. I hope to be able to do something like this in the future.
How long does it take to create a piece of art?
This is difficult to measure, some paintings just happen others can take a lot of work to get right, often smaller paintings can take longer than larger canvases.
Do your children do Art?
My eldest daughter has just started her A-level in Fine Art and my younger daughter is doing Art GCSE, both enjoy drawing and painting but can get cross with me if I try and help them!
What types of materials do you use?
I use Acrylic paints because they suit the spontaneity of my work, and they allow layering of colours quickly. I also use oil but it takes a lot longer to create and wait for layers to dry in between. I also love to work with watercolour.
Have you ever published a book?
This is another of my goals, watch this space!
How do you begin your paintings, sketches or straight on with the paint?
I like to go straight in with paint for freshness and spontaneity and allow the painting to evolve in its own way, usually beginning with covering my canvas in blocks of flat colour breaking up the space and making shapes. I usually sketch on holidays and use these for references at a later date and I also take lots of photographs whilst out walking. If I see images in magazines I use these as references.
Do you paint your flowers from memory?
I prefer to paint from memory, and I make my own shapes simplifying them down to more abstract forms.
What is your biggest source of inspiration?
My surroundings of the Ashdown Forest are a big inspiration. I also use the experiences of my childhood, art school and many years of experimenting with painting. Today my supporters, followers and galleries are a huge inspiration.
How many different paintings do you paint a month?
This varies depending on the exhibitions I am involved in, commissions I am undertaking and galleries requiring works. As my studio is at home I can often be painting from early morning into the late evening to meet a deadline.
Do you have a clear picture of the finished painting in your mind when you start work or does it evolve as you paint?
My paintings evolve as I work, although I tend to start with a season in mind or an element I want to include.
Is there any one painting that you did that you wish you had hanging on your own wall?
My most recent favourite is A Midnight Stroll which Sold very quickly, fortunately with the technology of today I am able to have a canvas print on my wall.
When you look across fields in your country, does your mind’s eye see them this way?
Yes, my mind is always working to simplify my surroundings of fields and flowers to translate into the next painting.
My paintings have elements of both real locations and my imagination, I particularly like visiting locally the white horse at Litlington and Cuckmere Haven and the South Downs and the Ashdown Forest, but similarly holidays in Scotland and Greece also influence my work.