After serving for many years as a consultant histopathologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, I took a planned early retirement from the NHS in order to pursue my long held desire to study art in a formal setting. I obtained a BA degree (1st class honours) in Art at the Cambridge School of Art in Anglia Ruskin University (formerly Anglia Polytechnic University), where I was able to combine practical fine art with art history.
The work of a histopathologist involves recognition of subtle differences in patterns and colours as seen by microscopy and undoubtedly this discipline has influenced my art. I like to observe and record the detail of the natural world and I am increasingly drawn to fascinating patterns, that occur in nature. I work in in watercolour, acrylic and oil. I enjoyed sculpture at art school and recently I have returned to modelling in clay, with subsequent casting in bronze resin or fired as ceramic.
In the past I have had a solo exhibition at the Royal College of Pathologists in London. I have exhibited in the Royal Watercolour Society Open Exhibition, with the Wild Art Society and have been a finalist on several occasions in the ‘Paint a Wild Life Subject’ competition. In 2011, I was a winner in the Hahnemühle competition for an abstract watercolour, which I based upon the complex of pattern I observed in the bark of a tree. In December 2014, with three other artists, I held an exhibition: "Four Artists", in the Divinity School of St John's College, Cambridge. I have been a member of the Cambridge Drawing Society (CDS) since 1991 and, in January 2015 I was elected as President for a three-year term of office.
Whilst I enjoy depicting many subjects, I am especially interested in the natural world and animals in particular. This has been a lifelong passion. As a child, one of my favourite school holiday treats was a visit to the Natural History Museum where I was able to sit and draw many different animals. It was not so crowded in those days and I was able to study many animals that I had never seen in real life.
I still enjoy visits there but in recent years I have been fortunate enough to undertake many safaris in India and several African countries. My husband and I have been privileged to observe many wild animals at close quarters in their natural habitat. I have taken literally thousands of photographs and I do not hesitate to admit that I use my own photographs as reference for my paintings and drawing. I suspect that wildlife artists who attempt realism yet deny the use of photographs are not being entirely truthful. However, I believe the artist's picture is able to depict far more than a single photograph. I only use photographs that I have taken myself and as I invariably take numerous photos of any one animal I am able to include far more information in a picture than is evident in a single photograph. I like to reproduce details of the fur, the whiskers, the marks on the skin and the horns, not all of which will be in focus in a single photograph. As a medic I have a good knowledge of human anatomy and in addition I gained a B.Sc. in Anatomy prior to my medical degree. These both assist in understanding how bones and muscles are connected beneath the skin in animals as well as humans.