A little bit about me
My life revolves around my family, mostly my two beautiful and fascinating children. I love art, swimming and yoga, homemade food, especially vegetables from my garden, bees, walking in nature, the sun, movies and a good book. My favourite place to go on holiday is Sicily where my husband is from. I love elephants and have a growing family of adopted orphans from the Sheldrick wildlife trust in Kenya.
Early Life and Education
I love to draw. I have been painting and drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil and brush. At a very young age I developed an interest in nature and colour - landscapes and wildlife, sunsets and water reflections, using different media and styles as I was searching for my own. I love to experiment with colours and textures that I saw in nature, the transient tones in clouds, the colours of sunsets, the movement of seagulls in flight, and in contrast I do black and white architectural drawings. I spent years drawing as gifts for friends and family.
I read Art History at university and studied myriad genres and eras, taking inspiration from many of my heroes as I went. I wrote my thesis on Art Nouveau & Fin de Siecle jewellery, and began my career in antique jewellery at Bentley & Skinner, Bond Street jewellers by Royal Appointment. I qualified as a Fellow of the Gemological Association and Diamond Grading Associate, winning the Tully Medal for highest result worldwide for gemmology in 2007. I became a Jewellery Valuer and then on to be Manager of Cassandra Goad in Sloane Street, London. It was here that I saw the making of beautiful silhouette pendants in silver and gold using a painted silhouette portrait.
Moving to London
In between jobs I undertook a large private commission of over 60 architectural graphite portraits of key buildings in the City of London. I knew Wren’s architectural style inside out and was so involved that I started seeing light & dark as pencil numbers, 2H… 8B… This commission changed my life and set me on the path I am on today.
I started drawing pet portraits in pencil - My husband then suggested that I draw one of the corgis for our very own HM Queen Elizabeth II for her 90th birthday. I must say I was terrified and refused initially but he used his Italian charm and encouragement to push me to do it! So I did… I received a wonderful letter a couple of weeks later from Windsor Castle! - that gave me the most amazing boost that I was heading in the right direction.
From then to now
When our little one was one, we moved out of London to be near my family in the beautiful Kent countryside. This changed my whole view on what I wanted to do with my life. I built my website and my portfolio; concentrating on pets, wildlife and architectural work.
As my business grew, so did my confidence and I began to experiment with pastels and child portraiture: understanding anatomy and facial expressions - my goal is always to capture an absolute likeness but most importantly to express something more - their spirit.
I expanded my business to create a collection of personalised stationary and greetings cards. I love to use pencil and pastel as their varying tones of delicacy and drama allow meticulous detail to achieve powerful portraits. I always focus on the eyes - I love their intensity and brightness to let the soul of my subject shine out of the page.
The hardest part about being a professional artist is that the ‘art’ part is actually smaller than all the other things it entails. You also need to be social media and SEO expert, website designer, accountant, executive assistant… I seemed to have missed all these lessons and I’m learning every day!!