Septembers guest artist is Mandy- Jayne Ahlfors her colourful work is lighting up the gallery,read more about Mandy below.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Mandy-Jayne Ahlfors a self taught artist currently living in Heage Derbyshire. My current subjects are Landscapes and Portraits. I also paint to commission.
What’s your back ground?
It all began as a young child my family used to say to me you were born to do art be creative I was also gymnast as well another creative hobby of mine really I had two art forms as a child. Every birthday and Christmas was sheer delight my presents where all creative , drawing pads, creative kits, paint by numbers, scratch foil, picture kits I could make with tiny glass stones one I remember was a young farmer and his donkey I gave to my grandparents as a gift. At different stages in my life my family have my art in their home most of them are still on their walls and luckily not the in the loft. Both my brothers once commissioned me for the same painting, I’m very lucky that my family paid me to paint they were encouraging me so grateful they did a good start for my art business. In ‘96 after being made redundant for the first time I attended art painting workshops in Belper it was suggested by the tutor I should go to University but I couldn’t really afford it so I did a self study credited art theory course at the local Belper Adult Education Centre near the Fleet I chose The Impressionists Era it was so interesting to learn more about Turner, Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh further studying took me back to the Renaissance another favouritwe era in art history. Family & friends continued their quest for me to exhibit my work. Finally it felt like the time was right I’d heard of Studio 61 Gallery near Matlock in Derbyshire so contacted Karina for the first time in 2007 Karina exhibited my work. My art was then accepted at View From The Top Gallery above Waterstones in Nottingham very exciting times sadly now closed due to the recession. I had art commissions every month. Eventually art became my self employed job.
What has been a seminal experience?
One of the first experiences was to have my work accepted by art galleries. There have been so many seminal experiences I’ve been very lucky, every year since 2009 my work has been featured online or in publications for example my painting Titled “Ethereal” published in Artists and Illustrators Magazine. Featured online such as Saatchiart.com my “Great British Mini” Painting was chosen for their online Pop Art Collection I’ve been very lucky to have had my work featured in local news, magazines and media, a company called “The New Fat” in Nottingham featured my art on their online calendar for three years running and I’ve been asked again in 2015. In 2012 my art was selected to be exhibited at East Midlands Airport in the DepARTures exhibition that also was an the most amazing experience. . When my people compliment and buy my art is always a seminal experience I’m always grateful!
How has your practice changed over time?
From time to time my art does evolve . I enjoy different subjects I find the World is an inspiration each time I study a subject my imagination runs wild. I seem have certain times in my life where I’m ready to start something fresh reinvent my work. I never stop learning it’s a never ending journey.
It was always meant to be art.
What memorable responses have you had to your art?
I receive amazing compliments on my work it could be work they’ve seen a gallery or even social media. I appreciate it very much I am very thankful!
What inspires you?
I’m a deep thinker I’ve always been the same I never forgot that thought even from a young age. I’m a people watcher, I love the light and changing seasons I’m constantly taking in my surroundings always thinking.
What research do you do?
I research all my subjects. Currently I’ve been researching our Heritage and wanted to highlight it further both my parents are history lovers maybe this is another reason why I seem to delve further into my subject.
Whats the best piece of advice have you been given?
Learn from failure. There have been times where you get to that point and you think it’s not working I step back and take time out refresh my thoughts. I look for inspirational advice my friends, family the internet such as blogs, groups on social media play a huge part there is so much advice out there if you look for it. It’s great for business and helps me to stabilise especially when the times have been tough. I would say I am able to give advice too! I know even at times I felt frustrated I’ve felt like giving the art up but I always say to myself “you know you won’t” I would feel lost without my art!
Thank you Mandy!
The gallery is open Tues- sat 10 -5, it is a working gallery with a lovely cosy atmsphere tea and coffee and a place to sit and admire the work of our artists and designers.