“Can you tell us about your oil painting ‘Jewels at Dusk? What makes for a strong and successful Abstract work?

I painted this in oil, there are several layers, each layer must dry before I can apply another.This gives it a beautiful texture. I then apply a dark glaze to desaturate the whole painting and bring out the texture.  Then I overpaint parts in highly saturated colours, this makes the painting glow, the saturated colour against the desaturated background. Some people say it looks like stained glass. It’s always a show-stopper in the flesh, photographs never seem to do it justice.

I name paintings when they are finished, as I don’t know how they will turn out. It’s always a wonderful surprise.

This is called Jewels at Dusk, it seemed to fit.


What was your inspiration for ‘Tintagel Abstract’? How did you set out to develop your initial idea? 

After the end of one of the lockdown last April, my husband Joe and I stayed in Cornwall for a few days with our dogs.

The weather was calm, the sky was blue, the sea all the colours you can imagine, from the palest mint to rich jade, and deepest teal.

The sea was also uncharacteristically calm. I stared down at the cove below Tintagel and studied the sea lapping over the rocks taking in colours, shapes, and the energy of the place. When I got back to my studio I painted this. It’s from elements I remember.

“Ghost Nets

“In your practice you use both acrylic and oil paint.  Which do you prefer as a medium and how do you choose which to use for a particular painting?

Before Covid, I painted almost exclusively in oils. During Covid, I got stuck with my work. I don’t suppose my head was in the right place. I started playing with acrylics. They dry faster, which used to bother me but I am developing ways to use them in my work. I can put down layers of paint quickly. I use wood panels instead of canvas. You can be brutal with wood, scraping back paint, I call it mining to find gold. I also add other materials, as in Ghost Nets, where I applied some net to the painting. I enjoy using acrylics because they are very versatile. Some people tell me they are not as vibrant as oils, but when I ask which paintings are oil and which acrylic they struggle to tell the difference. I do use top quality paints, which are loaded with pigment. I also use different tools. I paint my oils with a palette knife. I paint acrylics with brushes, my hand, rags, sharp things, trowels, and generally bits of stuff that will make a different mark.

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