I have always enjoyed drawing and was lucky enough to spend part of my school years in Brussels, where I attended a school with an excellent and well-equipped art department. My teacher was an inspiration and I can still hear her telling us to ‘….remember your darks and lights.’ I enjoyed everything from drawing with a basic pencil to making colourful batiques. I showed a talent for drawing and acquired some beautiful Caran d’Ache oil pastels and watercolour pencils, however I pursued sciences at A level and went on to become a university research scientist. This didn’t stop me from drawing and I entered local amateur competitions and began drawing people’s homes and local pubs in pen and ink (for some money in return). This was in the 1980s and early 90s, before the days of the internet making it easier to get ‘out there’ among the artistic community. My early work was black and white, graphite and pen and ink. I attended some local art groups and took the advice of one tutor to begin adding some watercolour to my work.
With practice and listening to some good art tutors during the past ten or so years my confidence with using colour has grown. I was surprised when returning to coloured pencils as a medium in their own right (less than 18 months ago) that I was able to produce high quality work that sells. All that I had learned about colour with watercolour and pastels allows me to apply my own style with coloured pencils.
I love to sketch outdoors and usually do so with an ink pen. Sometimes my drawings are used for further colour work and sometimes, rather than pen and wash, I do pen and coloured pencil drawings-the added time taken and control is worth it as I think the colours are more vibrant with coloured pencils and the resulting pictures are more beautiful. At present I use whatever medium seems appropriate for the subject and enjoy experimenting, taking the same subject and rendering it with different media.
I take a lot of photographs as I travel around and use these as much as possible for reference, preferring to produce art of somewhere I’ve been or something that means something to me. I love being creative and now, far from being frightened of colour and paints, embrace both as they open up such a range of artistic possibilities.
During the past 12 months I have successfully started running Creativity workshops in my home, using my teaching (I am a fully qualified teacher) and artistic skills, motivated by the belief that being creative makes people happier.
© Vivienne Hunter