This week in the Our Daughter Series the lovely Emma talks to us about her love of landscape painting
When did you start painting?
I've always been 'creative' - I would always far rather be sketching and painting, creating collages and drawing patterns with my gel pens than doing anything else. At school my favourite subject was always art. I was/am dyslexic so when I was younger I struggled slightly academically and sometimes lessons felt like a battle with my own brain - I could get very frustrated as I never understood why I wasn't picking certain things up as quickly as other people. I would always look forward to art as it came quite naturally - people would compliment me and this made me feel proud that I had 'achieved' something. Now I've learn we can't (all!) be good at everything, but when I was younger I did find this a hard subject to grasp - I'm glad I could escape those feeling of frustration at school through my love of art.
How has your style developed over the years?
Only since my A-Level art have I created my own "style" where I developed the love of painting landscape scenes with with an abstract edge. I've never been afraid to experiment with colour - this was certainly a downfall at times, as shown in my GCSE art where I created a colourful sculpture of an elephant's trunk - that said I never regret any of my work. I now believe I've found the lynch pin of what I love to paint - I'm always experimenting with different textures and mediums and I'm excited to see how and if it evolves over time. That's the wonderful thing about painting, peoples' individual styles can change and evolve and it's amazing looking back over work and seeing this progression.
What are you favourite subjects and why?
Now without a doubt my favourite subjects are landscapes, but, throughout my GCSEs and the start of my A Levels I actually always painted still life scenes that I created myself using different objects - pots, fruit, flowers...! As long as I can paint with colour and texture I am open to most subjects, I think I am just a little afraid of going off piste as it's been a while since I painted anything other than landscapes. I'm actually thinking of joining an art class in London to develop my drawing and painting skills and I'd love to have a go at doing a few more 'refined' paintings like I used to.
Who inspires your work?
Without a doubt my style has stemmed from my love of the impressionists - Monet, Cezzane and Renior. I also love the work of more abstract artists such as Rothko, Hockney, Matisse and Picasso. I'm also inspired by work I see in smaller galleries, on Pinterest and even artists I follow on Instagram.
How do you feel when you sit in front of a blank canvas?
I would love to say I feel inspired when I look at a blank canvas, but that would be lying! Sometimes I feel intimated and vulnerable. You never know how a panting will turn out, so on the flip side there's always an element of excitement as well. I'm learning to to be less impatient - I want the painting to be perfect straight away and this doesn't happen. I've also learnt that sometimes I need to take time away if it's not looking how I imagined - I guess this is similar to writer's block, but in the painting form! One thing's for sure is that whenever I finish a painting I feel sense of achievement and the joy I get from painting ultimately overshadows any negative feelings throughout the painting journey. It's the one time I do completely switch off and forget about everything else - and as cliche as it sounds, I get immersed in the picture! Sometimes you just have to take the rough with the smooth...