What is your favourite film of all time?
I can’t think of any specific one – The Great Lebowski is off the wall, Mamma Mia is fun, Bridges of Madison is romantic and Invictus was emotional.
What music are you currently listening to and why?
Freshly Ground as have only been in South Aftrica a short while and have been bowled over by them.
Which living artists do you most admire and why?
Lucien Freud; His brush strokes are so strong and the colours so vibrant – I aspire to paint my portraits like him.
Which deceased artist do you most admire and why?
Caravaggio – his interpretation of light and dark shades completely makes a painting for me, takes it out of the norm.
Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?
An exhibition of most of Lucien Freud’s work held in London a few years ago. The rooms were divided up into each decade of his life and as the years progressed I was sure his talent would fade as he aged, but quite the reverse. The paintings he was producing in his late 70’s were awesome, the flesh tones quite magical. I spent hours at this exhibition.
What is the question you get asked most frequently about your work and how do you answer it?
For portraits I am asked if I prefer to paint from photographs, or from life. I always answer that I like a mixture of both. If someone sits for me, I have to chat to them to make them feel at ease, so then lose concentration! If I paint from a photograph, it can result in a ‘dead’portrait, so usually I get the sitter to come for an initial sitting, sketch the portrait in on the canvas, then take photos and work from them for a few weeks and then get the sitter back so that I can complete the painting in another few sittings.
For my Lineart paintings I am nearly always asked if I can paint BIG, especially here in Cape Town. My answer is always that I can paint whatever size the client wants and in any colour.
What/ who inspired you to be an artist?
It was just in me; I have always been happiest with a pencil and pad from when I was a young girl; and I would always draw women for some reason, never men or animals. I ended up teaching life drawing in England for a while as I like drawing the female form so much.
Can you tell us about where you make your art and what if any, the significance this location has?
I paint in my studio in the flat where I live because I am happiest in my home. The light is fine for the Lineart; not so ideal for portraits, but I have a couple of big lights to help me on my way. I also have my partner on hand to give me constructive criticism!
What do you like most about being an artist?
The freedom to paint whenever I want, when the mood takes me. The downside is that sometimes the ‘muse’ doesn’t come when I want it to… I can set up in the studio early in the morning and nothing will inspire me. When it works though, it is truly fantastic and I completely forget about time and place. I am indeed very fortunate to do something I love so much.
What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
Being able to generate an income from doing something I so enjoy.
What are your plans for the coming year?
For the Lineart side of my art to really take off – I have had such good feedback on this contemporary original art I cannot believe it will not succeed.