The animal world in watercolour

Time to turn on the spotlight for another wonderful artist: Liz Chaderton… I’ve been following Liz on twitter for a while now and I just love her work (and I mean love in all capitals). One day when she replied to me on Twitter asking me if I wanted to be her agent it made me smile and I was flattered. I thought, there’s no way I would be the right person to do that. But it made me think about how I could contribute a little to get her work seen and appreciated by more people… So I wrote her an email to ask her if I could show her work here on my blog…. and she said yes! Insert a happy dance here…….

Below you will find just a small selection of her work, but I do hope you will check out the links at the bottom of this post to all her work. Enjoy the story of the life and work of Liz Chaderton….

I live in Berkshire, in what you might call a semi-rural location, but unfortunately with the planes going overhead into Heathrow it’s not as bucolic as I would like. Funnily I was born not too far away in Wallingford, but was brought up in Wiltshire and have moved around all over the country. I’ve also spent a stint in South Africa doing voluntary work and back-packed across Asia and Latin America.

The animal world in watercolour

My strong child hood memories are of drawing, drawing and drawing. When I was around 10 years old, my prize possession was an A2 pad of cartridge paper and I would spend Sunday afternoons doing detailed drawings of horses and ballerinas for hours at a time. I kept up art despite opposition at school (bright ‘gals’ were meant to study real subjects at grammar school) and took it to A level. I was offered a place on a Foundation course, but bowed to pressure and studied Psychology at university. I went on to a career in PR and communications ending up as head of comms for a large automotive engineering plc, but always kept drawing, painting or doing something creative.

The animal world in watercolour

In my mid 30s, I became a mum. Having been made redundant while on maternity leave, I found being a full time mum wonderful, but strange having been very focussed on my career. I really needed to get away from my gorgeous children and do something where I was me and not a mummy for an hour or two. So I started an evening class, choosing watercolour. Why watercolour? It was an entirely practical decision based on the fact that if young kids got hold of the paint, I would be able to wash it off the walls (and them). I was hooked.

The animal world in watercolour

I love watercolour for its vibrancy, immediacy and the happy accidents you need to embrace, if not to go mad. Also having a short span of attention and low boredom threshold, it allowed me to do what I wanted within the time I had and continually surprised me. I never had the desire to paint traditional watercolour landscapes, so I worked my way through various tutors, books and painted whenever I could to develop my own way of doing things.

The animal world in watercolour

The animal world in watercolour

The country is in my heart and yearn for my own small holding. Gradually, I began painting more and more animals. I want to share the amazement I feel looking at the domestic and wild animals we take so for granted. I only paint animals I have a direct knowledge of. So parrots and toucans are drawn from zoo and wildlife park visits, as they don’t tend to fly free in this part of Berkshire. Secretly, I hope that if people see things the way I do, perhaps we will care for our environment better and take animal welfare more seriously. The recent badger cull is a case in point.

The animal world in watercolour

The animal world in watercolour

Colour and pattern, not details are my passions; how colours work together, mix, interact; texture and pattern in everyday subjects and unexpected places are what interests me. Above all, I want my paintings to make people smile, use their imagination and think twice.

The animal world in watercolour

The animal world in watercolour

Once my children were school age, I started freelance writing, which allows me the flexibility to be around for them, but also the chance to use my brain. I edit a couple of trade magazines, as well as copywriting for various clients.

About five years ago, I began exhibiting my paintings thinking that if I could sell one I would be over the moon. It was so nerve wracking having my work hang on walls for random strangers to laugh at and criticise (you can see how confident I was!), but then I sold the first one and my family had to pull me off the ceiling. I continued to show at local art exhibitions and set myself the target of taking part in an arts trail and getting into a gallery in 2013. I am delighted to say, I now have my work in six across the Thames Valley and I took part in both the Henley and Wokingham trails in 2013.

The animal world in watercolour

I also started lino printing again, as there is such a strong link between seeing light and shade in both printing and watercolour. It is more for personal pleasure than public consumption and I do get through a lot of plasters while I carve!

The animal world in linoprints

The animal world in linoprints

This year’s target was to get my work published and start running workshops. I have just signed a contract with Artko and they will be publishing seven images from the autumn. I have also run three workshops and done a few demonstrations (how scary are demos?) and have a number more booked. I absolutely love running workshops – how brilliant it is to share your passion and see people learn and develop. A painting has also been produced in an ebook.

Personal links

Personal website
Email Liz
Connect on flickr

Galleries

You can buy my work either direct from me or via the following galleries:

Art for Art’s Sake, Twyford
Art at Goring
The Blue Duck Gallery, Caversham
byGillian in Bourne End
Oberon Art in Burnham
Emerald at Chalfont St Peter

Events

Henley Arts Trail 3-5 May venue 8
visit the website

Workshop

Emerald in Chalfont St Peter on 14 September 0750 7774017
email: cath@emeraldframes.com

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