Ever since I was old enough to pick up a pencil I have loved to draw. I was born in Leicester and at school, art was the only thing I really enjoyed, despite being scared of my art teacher, Miss Walker! I left to study further at North Staffs Poly in Stoke on Trent – inspired by the pottery kilns and the surrounding dramatic Staffordshire landscape. I eventually took my career on another path and have worked as an accountant for a printing company for oh so many years! ….but I have never stopped being creative and continue my passion for art.
I now paint and make prints, primarily collagraphs, carborundum prints, silk screen and dry points. I discovered that I have a family link to a now defunct printing press manufacturer, Hughes & Kimber of London. I use one of their early presses at home to produce my collagraphs. I am also a member of the excellent Leicester Print Workshop and I use their Harry Rochat press to make my larger work.
I now live in Rutland with my partner, and my ancient cockatiel. I’m continually inspired by the view from my artroom studio towards Allexton.
I rode my horse for many years on the bridleways around Launde and Tilton on the Hill, spending hours in the most fabulous rural countryside. A treasure trove of ideas for prints and paintings. Being a Pisces person I also love the sea and regular trips to the coast in Norfolk and down to Looe in Cornwall have resulted in numerous prints featuring waves, beach huts and seagulls.
My Great Great Grandfather was Edward Kimber, founder of Hughes & Kimber who were world renowned manufacturers of copper plates, printers sundries and quality printing presses in London since 1845.
Hughes & Kimber introduced the first steam driven machine to print from lithographic stone in the UK and America. Their hand etching presses are in museums, colleges and studios worldwide and their large copper plates were chosen by Whistler for his Venice sets and were also favoured by Samuel Palmer.
I believe that Norman Ackroyd has a Hughes and Kimber press in his studio and he uses it for his wonderful etchings. I have enjoyed researching my family history and the business story connected to it. It seems I was born to be involved with printing and it is amazing that it has come to this.