A unique pastel technique and recognisable style
‘Although Anita works in a range of media from oils, watercolours to mixed media, she has developed a unique technique and instantly recognisable style in her use of Pastel technique on sandpaper (despite nearly losing her fingerprints in the process!)’
Out & about in nature
My life is spent in the countryside, in fields, gardens, especially the RHS gardens at Wisley , National Trust Gardens and wild meadows! Sketching and scribbling and make notes on colours wherever I go. I see my surroundings in a series of frames, suddenly seeing the tiniest detail in the shape of a petal, the way the light touches a colour which I just have to record to use later in a big flower painting .
I take hundreds of photos and create dozens of sketches, which give me little reminders of what I saw or wanted to capture and will often use these as reference points in conjunction with my sketches.
When possible I will paint on site, especially if tackling a landscape when her work takes a looser approach.
Back to the Studio
Most of the flower paintings are done in the studio. I use a combination of sketches, colour notes, layouts and photos to create initial composition pieces. Once I’m happy that the overall feel of a layout is right, work starts on the main piece. Of course there is always a pot or vase of the flower in the studio.
I then use my pastel technique, blending and move over the sandpaper to create incredibly subtle tones and shades. The work is built up in layers until the complete image seems to jump off the page. When working in Oils I will create translucent layer after layer to build up depth of colour and tone.
This is where the internet loses out as the softness and variation in tone is lost on the web. You have to see an original to really get the effect of the vibrant colours and subtle tones and shading.