I grew up painting and drawing, carving soap, sewing and creating with anything I could get my hands on. The tactile nature of producing something with my hands simply fulfils me like nothing else does. I now predominantly work with pencil, watercolour and acrylics but who knows what I might try next! I studied art at Kingston School of Art before going to Canterbury College of Art to study post graduate graphic design and illustration before spending 10 years working in graphics commercially. I turned freelance when I started a family and fine art replaced commercial graphics and illustration. I regularly sell through local exhibitions. For many years I have also used my art in sugarcraft, both teaching and creating unusual sugarcraft pieces for customers. But my greatest need is to express myself through my painting and drawing. I frequently draw from nature, but music, emotions and my surroundings can profoundly affect my paintings. I also enjoy botanical and natural history painting – a completely different and technically demanding, precise art form. The accuracy and detail required is intense and it is thoroughly absorbing and fulfilling, requiring careful study to discover every detail and make-up of a plant or other natural form. In my larger flower paintings I want to explore the relationship between a flower, it’s environment and atmosphere surrounding it. I feel my knowledge of the wonderful shapes and colours in nature combined with my mood and imagination help me to develop paintings with more emotion and feeling. My paintings, whether of flowers or abstract, are usually associated with things, events or periods of my life. The interaction of nature, music, colour and painting fascinates me and I love to explore the visual content, letting my imagination run wild. I find it very stimulating and emotional. Over more recent years this emotional attachment within my painting has developed. Using acrylics I like to explore the imagery that comes from my connection with music and colour, linking this with visual imagery, perhaps memories or past events, creating more emotional paintings. These paintings are often associated with my life but are also sometimes inspired by song lyrics. I can sit listening to music, seeing and feeling the colours when suddenly something will ‘speak to me’. My imagination will form imagery, the music giving off colours that perhaps evoke a memory, emotion, an event, a place or just intangible feelings. When the mix is right, the painting is easy. These paintings surprise and delight me in the way they develop. I almost feel I’m letting the painting ‘paint itself’. It is a very powerful feeling that totally absorbs me. Painting is my drug of choice, when it’s going right I feel positively high!