Novembers guest artist is Caroline Appleyard and we have a bumper sized interview with her below, her work is fun and full of little details that will leave you wanting more,
Who are you and what do you do?
Caroline Appleyard, I'm a painter.
Why do you do what you do?
I paint because it makes me happy and I love to paint.
How do you work?
I paint all day and into the night using acrylics on canvas.
What’s your background?
I'm self-taught with no art training
What has been a seminal experience?
Seeing Alfred Wallis paintings at the pier arts centre in Stromness, Orkney. I always go to see them whenever I go to Orkney.
How has your practice changed over time?
I never use to put faces on the people, but I do now.
What art do you most identify with?
What work do you most enjoying doing?
I just love to paint places, animals and people all one canvas.
What themes do you pursue?
Bright, colourful, happy, fun.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?.
I love to add underwater as I scuba dive, so often when I paint a place and add the underwater, I'll add creatures that I’ve seen. One of my favourite paintings that I did is ' the Two Fleets of Scapa Flow'. It has the dive boats on the surface and the German fleet on the seabed. Me and Chris are on my favourite wreck, the Karslruhe with a seal. I've dived there many times, but on one dive a seal stayed with us for most of the dive. So diving my favourite wreck, with my hubbie and a seal was brilliant and it is part of the painting.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
Driving a tractor, accounts clerk, swimming teacher, fork truck driver.
I always wanted to paint and study art, but wasn't allowed to study art and I had to get a
'proper job'. I'm happy when I paint, in my own little fluffy, colourful world. It's what I love
to do. When I wake up I can't wait to get to my easel with a big mug of coffee and just paint.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I've overheard people laughing at my pictures and looking at the people and creatures in the pictures, which are part of the places I paint. It's great when my paintings make people smile and make people happy.
What inspires you?
Animals, people, places, underwater, just life in general.
What research to you do?
I visit a place and walk around, taking hundreds of photos, and sketching where I go. Then I get a picture in my head and I paint it my way :-)
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
Not at all, I'm very lucky. Chris, my hubbie is retired, and my studio is a conservatory at the back of our house. There's a window between my easel and Chris, so I can tap on the window for a cuppa anytime. I also have music on all day, punk, metal, thrash, so often bounce around and have a little dance at my easel. I also paint underwater in my dive gear, and have my music on my underwater MP3 player.
What do you dislike about the art world?
I dislike the snobbery in the artworld. We weren’t all lucky enough to go to art college, but there are many great self-taught artists in the world. Many galleries close their doors to these artists because they didn't study at the right colleges. Luckily there are also lots of great galleries who will exhibit your work because they like it.
What do you dislike about your work?
If I don't like something, I change it, so I do like it.
What do you like about your work?
The bright colours, little creatures and animals, making them happy paintings.
What is your dream project?
I've got a big painting planned for in a couple of years’ time, it will be the largest painting I've ever done, but it's a secret until it's completed.
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
Alfred Wallis, LS Lowry, Dora Holzhandler
Favourite or most inspirational place ?
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
My teacher Mr Allen told me in junior school that I should keep trying, there was something about my paintings that he liked, and he always encouraged me.
Professionally, what’s your goal?
To be a well-respected artist.
The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday 10 -5 and some Sundays ring first to check.