Have you got your own studio? if so describe it to us.
I feel incredibly lucky to have a purpose-built studio on the back of my house. From my desk I can see the garden, trees, hills, Corbar Cross and Soloman’s Temple - it's a very quiet spot to work, I can listen to the birds and get some ‘green therapy’. The light in the room is great, it's north facing which is preferable for art studios as it means the light is consistent throughout the day. My husband has recycled our old kitchen and fitted it into the studio and my favourite thing in there is the large blue velvet sofa - so I can make a brew and stay there all day!
Has your association with purple and grey helped your art career?
I was introduced to Purple and Grey through another artist. They have been brilliant in helping me to advance my social media skills and they have a fantastic network of contacts. Networking is important to artists. I would like to attend some of their drawing sessions and networking events which are on Wednesdays, but this is one of my school days.
How often are you able to dedicate your time to your artwork and would you like more time?
Yes, I would love to spend more time working as an artist. I am currently joint Head of Art at Chapel-en-le-Frith High School, which is both rewarding and challenging and I work there 3 days a week, then I spend about 3 days a week working as an artist, 1 day of which is spent on admin time promoting my business. So, now it's a bit of a balancing act, but I am hoping to become a full-time artist in the near future.
Who is your favourite artist?
I have lots of favourite artists but the one I like most at the moment is David Hockney. I love his use of colour and pattern within landscapes and I was very inspired by the mark making in his iPad drawings, which I saw recently at Salts Mill in Saltaire, Yorkshire. I also like how the light and energy of his life in California has filtered through into his Yorkshire countryside paintings. Certainly, the exhibition of his work at the Tate was very memorable - I particularly liked the set of large black and white charcoal drawings of trees and country lanes.
How do you see your art career progressing?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my 23 years teaching art at secondary school, but now I want to share my knowledge and experience with a different audience and so I will be running art courses and classes for adults from my studio. I want to dedicate more of my time to painting and working as an artist. I am delighted to have completed a series of commissioned artworks for Buxton Opera House and the Buxton International Festival Award which I received for my 2017 Buxton Spa Prize entry has really spurred me on to pursue my career as an artist.