How did you find your voice as an artist ?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to draw or paint. From a very young age I drew the animals around me, the dogs, the cats, the horses. Also the plants and the landscapes around my home. I grew up in a quintessential English village, in a crumbling old house. Eventually as I became a little more accomplished I began drawing the house and the village – and my love of painting period architecture began.
You work with watercolour and acrylic – which one do you prefer and which one challenges you more ?
I love both. I used to favour watercolour, inks and gouache on paper. But now I equally enjoy working with acrylic on gesso. The gesso (which I mix myself) is a great surface to use with acrylic, and helps me achieve the textures and effects I like, especially when depicting old buildings and old brickwork.
Has your approach and process changed throughout your artistic career ?
I think so yes, but many clients who own my early paintings recognise my new work immediately if they see it online or in galleries. So my style must be recognisable even though my medium has adapted over the years.
When working on a new project, what are the first steps you take ?
First I visit the building, the village, the town. I take photographs and also do drawings if I can. Often the composition of my paintings means I’d have to stand in the middle of a road to draw! So here I rely on photographs.
I don’t necessarily use the photographs for colour reference. I often use the ‘colour notes’ jotted down in my sketch book or use colours from memory or my mood! I work the drawings up into small study paintings, then if I like them into larger pieces.
What have been the highlights of your artistic career ?
Every time someone buys my work is a highlight, I’ve sold quite a few paintings over the years and hope never to lose the joy I feel when someone loves my work.
Also definite highlights are winning art awards! It’s always wonderful to be recognised for your work by your peers.
Which artists do you admire ?
I’m obviously attracted to work by artists who paint architecture. John Piper was a local artist to where I live and work now, so I’m interested in his paintings.
I love the work of Edward Hopper.
I also like the work of the Wyeth family, the paintings which feature architecture especially. Andrew Wyeth’s colour palette was simple yet wonderful.
Camilla Dowse’s Singulart Profile: https://www.singulart.com/fr/