Tell us a little about what you make?
I am a painter working on canvas and board, occasionally framed, mainly in acrylic.
What inspires you and where do you find that inspiration?
Often a one second view through a bus/car window. This will give me an idea, a framework, an composition or shape. My work is almost exclusively inspired within Wales and by Wales both physical & through its culture … this was true even when I lived in Birmingham.
Tell us about your favourite medium.
Using acrylic as a medium is just so convenient. A few colours, a surface, a rag, brush or finger is all you need. There is no need to be precious about work as a discarded cereal box, cheap pad or even driftwood can serve as a surface.
What are your favourite and least favourite parts of being an artist or maker?
I often tell people that when they buy a painting they are most probably buying three or more works on top of each other. 'Not succeeding' is so much part of what we do as creatives. I am not able to count how many times I have been within one brushstroke of a finished painting only to start all over again!
What does being a member of the Ceredigion Art and Craft Trail mean to you?
The Art Trail has given me a fresh start into a new part of Wales. After having moved from England to Wales it was like starting all over again. My art contacts seemed so far away, gallery spaces were no longer practical or accessible.
How do you manage a work-life balance as an artist/maker?
I have many interests that are important to me in my life. My faith is very important as is singing with choirs. When it comes to my art, because I don't have the pressure of having to earn a living from it, I am able to experiment and travel along the long journey of discovery. Every month feels as if there is a new box of treasures to open. I suppose I am just an 80 year old young kid at heart wanting to play!
What are you working on at the moment?
Over the years I have been in a constant state of change, deliberately. But there are constants, one of which is colour. Colour discovery is always at the heart of my art. Like most artists I bought the whole of the shop but now often only use just three colours.
Welshness is another constant, with the landscape not far away for long. Starting with working from the well known and the recognisable I am slowly moving toward more abstraction, both tonally and expressively. My dream one day is to give more and more expression of my unique self - after all I am the only one of me there is!
How do you know when your work is finished?
I usually know a piece is finished one second before I paint over it and start again. My most favourite time in the production of a painting is often about one minute into the first energetic broad brush strokes across the surface, mainly tonal, highly expressive and often in just one colour.
What is the biggest challenge of being an artist/maker?
Working against the pressure of 'that sold really well last time'. I have seen over the years too many friends being forced to produce on a regular basis the thing that has brought in money. Of course this is of great value as it gives time and space to create new things but sadly artists can stay locked into that place where selling is more important than the creative gift they have been given.
What advice would you give to new artists or makers at the start of their creative journey?
Stay fresh, don't become too precious, enjoy the journey even it is hard. Keep learning from anywhere, anything, anybody and give the Art Trail a try – have lots of fun!!!