I’m lucky enough to live in the beautiful area of Exmoor, where I love painting local wildlife and landscapes.
Exmoor Black Cat Art has developed from what started as Black Cat Art and Beads, named after my little black cat, Suki. I started making jewellery for friends, and then began raising money for charity by selling it. I was then introduced to watercolour painting at a local class (run by Chris Howe – his lovely atmospheric landscapes are on his own website). I was totally entranced by the effects it could create, and started painting animals and birds. A friend asked me to portray his dog, which was the start of numerous pet portraits for friends and then as commissions. These have included dogs, cats and horses, as well as a range of other animals and Exmoor wildlife. I love the combination of precision and looseness that watercolour paints allows; it can be so wonderfully suggestive of texture and light, and really bring animals to life. I now sell my paintings, together with cards and other items made using my images, through the Exmoor Store in Minehead, as well as via commissions and at local events.
I generally work from photos, and in sizes up to quarter imperial (A4 is really good for a head study), using paper handmade locally, at Two Rivers, which has a superb rough finish. For commissions, I charge £80-120 (plus postage at cost). Part of this is donated to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. The most successful images need a good head photo, with the eyes (vitally important to show expression and character!) clearly shown – a photo that shows the animal exactly as you would like painted. I aim at capturing the personality of the animal, and producing a painting rather than a more photographic and precise result – the examples in my gallery show what I mean by this.
If you would like to ask about a commission, please contact me by email and tell me about what you are thinking of. I look forward to hearing from you.