This is me in my studio up in the loft of my home in Haslemere in the UK. I love it up here, it's sometimes a little messy but it is my creative haven and I'm very grateful that, after many twists and turns in life, I am now making a living from being creative.
I went to Cheltenham Art College many moons ago and have a 2:1 BA Hons Degree in Fine Art Painting.
I am inspired by strong light and snapshots of people in their everyday life. I often paint people from behind or in silhouette as it can hint at what might be going on beneath the surface and create a story or feeling that we recognise in our own lives.
I'm also drawn to melancholy, like a beautiful song in a minor key, as life is not always easy. A solitary figure looking pensive or an old lady carrying her shopping can really tug on my heartstrings and I want to translate that into paint.
A bit of my story
After school I went to Cheltenham Art College because I was ‘good at art’ and couldn't think of anything else to do. Much as I enjoyed art college, it never really explained how I was supposed to make a living from painting. I had a monoprint accepted at the Mall Galleries but, apart from that, I felt a bit lost after college and got various temping jobs before travelling the world when I was 25. I took my paints with me and had fun painting on beaches and doing little exhibitions with friends in youth hostels. I also got one of my paintings on the back cover of New Zealand’s Readers Digest in 1996.
When I got back from my travels in my late 20s, I had a real yearning to follow my acting dream so I did a post-graduate in acting at Academy of Live and Recorded Arts and, for about ten years, the two careers of art and acting went hand in hand. There were a few years when painting wasn't forefront of my mind but I saw it as the faithful partner that would always be there and, whenever I came back to it, there it was waiting patiently for me to pick up my brush again. In 2004 after a couple of years of painting drought (or creative hibernation), I felt the need to pursue art again so I set off with a carful of canvases, spending two weeks on my own in a little converted barn in Yorkshire. It was a wonderful time, I did loads of work and I couldn’t get my ideas out quick enough. I went back to Yorkshire many times, it is one of my happy places.
Once back in London I started to have solo exhibitions, I hired out spaces, filled them with my paintings, had busy private views and really started selling my work. I often think of that time as the beginning of my painting career when I 'started again'. There have been other stop/start times alongside various milestones in my life (eg having children) but painting has always been a thread running through my life. These days it is far more than a thread, more like a happy backdrop.
Oh and another thing...
If you're interested in dates and places, here is my CV.
I illustrated the book 'Drawn From the Well' by Salema Cornick, more about that here.
I come from a creative family. My two older brothers are broadcaster Jeremy Vine and stand-up comedian Tim Vine.
I love all things vintage, typewriters, record players, lindy hop dancing and 1940's music.
But most of all, I love painting.