I was born in 1981 in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. I have been painting drawing and sculpting from a very young age, encouraged by my artist mother. This talent was first noticed and nurtured by my tutor Sheridan Horn at Trinity School at secondary level. This inspired me to en-roll on a exploratory BTEC at UCE Birmingham. I was torn between sculpture and fashion so pursued my interest in the human form by specializing in fashion construction. This lead to an influential BA(Hons) Degree in Fashion Design at University of Westminster. During this time I trained for two months with Alexander McQueen and attended an illustration master class with Camilla Dixon. Finally winning second place in a Young Designer of the Year award at the Clothes Show, which lead to work more experience this time with the Daily Telegraph's fashion department. I graduated in 2004.
I returned to Trinity School as "Artist in Residence" in 2005 for four years. I have been drawn back to investigating fashion as art. I spent many years drawing and painting the human form through fashion illustration, life drawing as well as portraiture in London, Birmingham, Banbury, Stratford-upon -Avon and Leamington Spa.
At the beginning of 2012 I was introduced to the theme for the 2013 exhibition “Kitsch”, during Helena Godwin's art classes. At this time I was suffering from overwhelming sorrow and heartache following a relationship break up and found solace and comfort in the beauty of flowers. Experiments with drawing, painting and sculpture led to the obsession and scrutiny of Lilies.
To me the Lilium (Latin for Lily) embodied this sentiment perfectly. It is romantic and showy and given boldly in love to brighten and cheer the one it beholds. Flowers all bring joy and hope of a beautiful world, I am inspired by the natural world. The lily is kitsch's in the most positive sense and appeals to the human psyche. I want my art to express this idealism. Artistically I wanted to move away from the fussy, contrived flower art of yesteryear towards a brighter, fresher and more vivid depiction of the lily. I strove to re-invent the lily.
After the complexities of pattern-cutting and design development I loved the simplicity of painting a single flower. I am consistently intrigued by the lily. Their simplistic yet engrossing shadows, their curling petals, their bright colours that seem lit from within. The lily is an extremely fragile flower. On a primitive level I can relate to this, being sensitive and vulnerable the flower perched on a fragile stem acted as a mirror to my soul. The flower was free like me and seemed to dance on the page and canvas. This gave me hope for in it's stillness and despite it's fleeting life, the lily is happy and radiates a positive energy.
I wanted this optimism to radiate through my art. The flowers fragility was not so easy to portray with paint. The more I studied the lily the more I wanted to sketch, paint and sculpt it in it's many forms. I liked painting fast and developing it's three dimensional forms on canvas. The petals twist and swirl contrasting the astute stamen and stigma. I exaggerated it, I enjoyed enriching the colours and enlarging the scale. The sketching became like cartooning and so the painting followed suit. The speed I work with was assertive and uninhibited.. The acrylics complimented my style as they are quick drying and have a boldness of colour allowing my work to become freer. I sought to capture the movement of the petals using large strokes to capture the petals fine veins. Each flower challenged me to better embody it than the last. I explored 11 colour series in total, grouped together by stylistic qualities. There are framed drawings, painted canvases and a sculpture. The illuminated lily contrasts upon the darker more mysterious background. So bright are the blooms they seem to pop out at the viewer. I feel they are the pop-arty style of kitsch.