As Artist of the Week I’d like to say a little about my work and the work of some other Shed creatives. To be honest I actually find it quite difficult to talk about my art mainly because it’s such an intrinsic part of me that it’s fairly instinctive and not something I usually analyse in any detail. Also, when I do think about it, it provokes quite strong and sometimes difficult emotions which are private and not always easy to share.
Thames 3 by Fiona G. Roberts
I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil and although I didn’t always have time to paint I never, ever stopped drawing. I was desperate to be creative but you could say that life got in the way. I have an insatiable curiosity and a social conscience and I got a bit sidelined by academic research. Thank goodness I eventually saw sense and returned to my first love, and to what I should have been doing all along.
I mainly work on portraits or landscapes and seascapes. These tend to be inspired by people and places from my past. I was brought up on a farm in the Lake District and I think that landscape of fells, woodland, rivers and lakes is somehow imprinted on my brain. I feel distinctly uncomfortable and exposed in areas of flatland. I think one of the reasons I like living in a large city like London is that the high rise buildings remind me of the looming fells and mountains of the lakes. It sometimes amuses me that I couldn’t wait to leave Cumbria but now I’m compelled to return to it in my work.
Woodland 1 by Fiona G. Roberts
The influences on my work by other artists are many and varied and way too numerous to list here, but some contemporary artists I particularly admire are Peter Doig, Marlene Dumas, Marina Abramovic, Bill Jacklin, Justin Mortimer, Ken Currie, Kurt Jackson, Robbie Wraith and Nathan Ford. I was so lucky and amazed to be in the same exhibition as the last three of these artists when my work was selected for the Sunday Times Watercolour exhibition last year.
I use any medium I can get my hands on but prefer oils for portraits and acrylics for landscapes/seascapes. I also use watercolours, pastels, charcoal and mixed media. I love printing especially monotypes and screen printing, and if I had room I’d love to have my own press. In fact I fantasise about concreting over the garden and building a massive, well equipped studio to replace the space I have at present but that’s probably not going to happen. Although I do have creative blocks they don’t usually last long and I’m generally bursting with ideas about what I want to paint or create. I’m only limited really by the number of waking hours in the day and my other commitments.
I’m truly impressed by the work of other Shed creatives and I wish I had the space here to talk about all of them. I particularly like the work of Ian Dicks.
FTSE Cameron by Ian Dicks
He produces clever and humorous pieces of art, which are designed to look like street graffiti.
Chelsea Davine is another artist I have huge respect for. Her stunning paintings are original and arresting and I wish I had one on my wall!
First sign of Spring by Chelsea Davine
I have always liked Paula Youen’s prints and she obviously has a keen eye as a photographer too. Hilary Buckley’s paintings are lovely and vibrant.
Rachel Talibart’s photographs are stunning and like all true experts she makes it look easy.
The Road Goes Ever On by Rachael Talibart
I love Michael Gardner’s bright and trendy images. Darren Griffin has the knack of making simple things look beautiful and a wonderful eye for colour. John Hunt’s images are different and edgy and his use of colour is also impressive. Kirsty Fenton’s mixed media and prints are stunning and intriguing. Lauren Fox’s sculptures are just amazing and it has been a real pleasure to see them in the shows. Tom Hard produces stunning views of the natural world. Jillian Hunt also manages to add something special to nature in her work.
Autumn by Tom Hard
Clearly the Shed brings together some talented people who are producing impressive work and it’s a real pleasure to be part of such a highly creative group.