After you have caught up on the local and world news do you get stuck straight into painting every day?
I don’t paint every day. Sometimes chores and the likes get in the way. I paint when the mood takes me and when I have a desire to paint a particular subject.
I've often seen half started paintings from you when we have been at the club and always wondered how you actually start a painting and what your process is?
I like to paint outdoors but am not a martyr to bad weather! l prefer to make my own sketches of a subject rather than rely on just a photograph. I am lucky to have my own studio so I can leave all the ‘work in progress ‘ until another day, and it’s separate from the house so l can be lost in my own little world! I generally paint straight to the paper/canvas from my sketchbook. The exception being anything abstract which I might make a plan, start, then let it evolve...then invariably bin it!
Who or what inspires you?
Whatever takes my fancy...usually outdoors, lakes, fells and woodland.
When did you realise being arty was what you loved to do?
From being in junior school I have always liked drawing. In senior school most of my exercise books were covered in drawings and doodles, invariably done when I should have been listening! In sixth form I loved making detailed botanical and anatomical drawings of the dissections we had to do.
Blimey that sounds gruesome, I don't recall doing anything like that at school, it must have been banned by the early 80's! On average how long does it take to complete a painting? The one you started at the art club seemed to be almost finished when we starting to pack up two hours later.
Sometimes I finish a painting in an hour (if it’s watercolour.) Two or three sessions for others, but I often put them to one side then return at a later date with fresh eyes to see what can be improved, or all the mistakes. Occasionally I am reasonably satisfied with the result, but often it’s a case of “might do better but probably can’t”!
I've only ever seen you use oil, have you ever tried another medium?
I have tried pencil, charcoal, inks, acrylics, oils, watercolour, collage and Lino cuts, but I keep returning to watercolour, pencil drawing, and oils.
Before we get down to organising a painting day do you have any tips for new artists young or old?
Yes, join a local class if you have the opportunity and try different mediums. Then paint whatever you like when you are in the mood, and more importantly don’t worry if it doesn’t come up to your imagined expectations. For most of us the image in your head rarely translates onto paper!...But we can always keep the recycling bin happy!!
Marvellous thanks for the interview Barbara. Right let's get planning where are we going to go and what's going to be in that lunch-box of yours that I can snaffle!
Just snacks of cheese, nuts, and a salad and not forgetting a flask of tea, we will also call at the local hostelry at the end of our day. One of my favourite views is in the Borrowdale valley looking up to Eagle crag or the tumbling waters of the beck from Langstrathdale. Cap that with a brooding dark sky and it’s so atmospheric!