Artist Interview: Louise Chatfield

I'm a curious type; I like to know what informs an artist. Who or what do they look to for inspiration? How do they work? Each month I will be asking an artist I admire a few questions, this month is Louise Chatfield.

 Louise Chatfield, Looking Across The Water 

Louise Chatfield, Looking Across The Water 

Louise, your landscape paintings are so vibrant. Is making work with a lot of colour important to you?

It is. I find I am drawn to colour, and it is very uplifting! People tend to smile when they see colour. And I like the unexpectedness and surprises you get when putting colours next to each other. Having said that, I do start off a painting sometimes intending to use many and it ends up with perhaps only 3 or 4. Something in my subconscious no doubt!

What first drew you to focus on landscapes?

I just love the countryside and its many moods. We are so lucky to have such a variety of landscapes in this country, from Scotland to the Peak District, Wales, Cornwall... and everywhere really. And the play of light and dark, especially around the coast. 

 Louise Chatfield, Dreamtime

Louise Chatfield, Dreamtime

 Louise Chatfield, Autumn Glow - Brecon Beacons 

Louise Chatfield, Autumn Glow - Brecon Beacons 

You use a variety of mediums in your work, from oils to acrylics. Do you have a favourite medium to work with or a favourite method of applying the paint?

I do love oils. They are so buttery, wonderful colours and can be moved around, used thickly or thinly and generally ‘gloopy’ (a technical term!) I use palette knives a lot, and often my fingers - having to remember to wear thin gloves - as well as wipes. They are great for blending. 

You are based in landlocked Rutland, does the area local to you influence your work at all?

It is a beautiful county! We have some wonderful countryside and also Rutland Water, which is incredible. I rarely paint outdoors, I tend to absorb what I see, occasionally take photos, then see where that takes me. However, I must say I do wish I was a bit closer to the sea sometimes. 

 Louise Chatfield, Early One Morning

Louise Chatfield, Early One Morning

You are part of the Welland Valley Arts Society and the Rutland Open Studios -  is being part of two artist organisations important to you? What opportunities do they give you?

Having moved here just about a year ago, joining organisations does mean getting to know local artists. I think it is important to share ideas, contacts, as well as problems and (hopefully) solutions. Painting can be quite an isolating thing, if we are not careful! And, of course, it means I can exhibit my work, get feedback, and see others’ work as well. 

Tell me about your studio or creative space.

Ah. Well. I have the spare bedroom! Oh for space for a large studio in the garden - no such luck, and actually no room! I try to be organised, but don’t succeed very well. 

 Louise Chatfield, Morning Light (Cornwall Series)

Louise Chatfield, Morning Light (Cornwall Series)

What artists (living or dead) inspire you?

I first ‘noticed’ paintings when I was introduced to the Pre-Raphaelites years ago. Also, John Singer Sergent - I saw an exhibition in London and was fascinated with how he applied the paint. Joan Eardley - still very underrated in my opinion, I love her work. Turner

More recently, Kurt Jackson, Paul Wadsworth... there are probably many more, but they don’t spring to mind at the moment. I’ll think of them when it is too late! 

I love learning random facts about people, tell me three things about yourself.

  • I am getting very interested in exploring using textiles and stitch with paint. A new project!
  • I love steam engines, watching them, riding in them - I had a ‘drive a steam engine day’ for my birthday once. It was great. 
  • I can’t swim or ride a bike - is that random?! 
 Louise Chatfield, Sennen Cove (Cornwall Series)

Louise Chatfield, Sennen Cove (Cornwall Series)

 Louise Chatfield, Reflection (Cornwall Series)  

Louise Chatfield, Reflection (Cornwall Series)  

Finally, where can people follow your work online?

www.chatfieldart.com
@lou_chatfield on Twitter

Thank you to Louise for taking part in my artist interview series. I love her description of oils and how she involves her fingers in the blending process, I really feel like I need to dig out my old oil paints and have a play too. 

If you'd like to take part in my artist interviews series then please do get in touch at claireleanneleach@gmail.com. 

If you enjoyed reading then please click the heart at the bottom, share or better still leave me a comment, I love reading them. ❤️

Artist Interview: Kathy Hutton

I'm a curious type; I like to know what informs an artist. Who or what do they look to for inspiration? How do they work? Each month I will be asking an artist I admire a few questions, this month is Kathy Hutton.

 Stacking Bowls Print by Kathy Hutton Using Silkscreen, Block Print, Jelly Print & Monoprinting Techniques

Stacking Bowls Print by Kathy Hutton Using Silkscreen, Block Print, Jelly Print & Monoprinting Techniques

Kathy, I've been following your work for some years now, you seem to be able to turn your hand to so many printmaking techniques with beautiful results. What method of printmaking is your favourite and why?

I love to use different printing techniques depending on the feel that I want to achieve and I often end up using multiple techniques in one print, however if I had to choose my absolute favourite technique it would be the mono-printed line (sometimes called a mono-trace).

It’s due to this technique that I feel happy drawing and have a confidence in my lines. It sounds strange but it’s both unforgiving and forgiving at the same time! I’m drawing directly into the black ink so there is nowhere to hide, you can’t erase the marks once made so you just have to be brave. With a pencil on paper I dither, I use far too many lines and they have no confidence. But with this technique I’m forced to choose a line and go with it! It sounds terrifying but actually I find it completely freeing.

At the same time, the paper is also picking up little accidental marks and smudges from the ink, these add character to the drawing in a way that cannot be controlled. These little quirks are part of the forgiving nature and are what makes each and every drawing unique.

It’s also a completely instant technique, which can’t be said for many printing techniques that often involve preparation in different stages. With a mono print as you are drawing, you are creating the print there and then; for someone like me who is a little impatient, this is a real treat! As I’m drawing I’m concentrating only on the item I’m drawing and so in that moment I feel very connected. Linking eye and hand with a pencil and a bit of ink!

 Sweet Pea Print by Kathy Hutton Using Monotype

Sweet Pea Print by Kathy Hutton Using Monotype

 Sweet Pea Print by Kathy Hutton Using Monotype

Sweet Pea Print by Kathy Hutton Using Monotype

Nature appears to be your biggest source of inspiration, what is it about recording nature that appeals to you?

I’ve become fascinated by the natural things growing around my home, in the fields and lanes beyond our garden. The more I look, the more I see. It’s become a bit of an obsession and through it I’ve become much more aware of the changing seasons and their effects. I’m especially interested in the everyday; fallen leaves, seed heads and berries.

I thought that in the midst of winter I would struggle to find inspiration, but actually I find these quieter months are full of fallen treasure ready to be pocketed and brought home to be studied further. In the summer when there is so much competing, I have to work harder to be still and for my eye to notice the little things I seek.

The beauty of nature is that it’s constantly changing so if you keep looking you will always find something of inspiration and you never have to travel far.

 Legume 1 Hand Drawn Monotype Print by Kathy Hutton

Legume 1 Hand Drawn Monotype Print by Kathy Hutton

You are based in Wiltshire, does the area local to you influence your work at all?

I love living in Wiltshire with its proximity to open countryside and urban cultural areas (which I’m aware I’m not making the most of at the moment with my youngest daughter still being so young). I’m very lucky to live nearby to our National Arboretum which is a constant source of inspiration and great for getting the children involved in finding treasures.

However as I tend to draw inspiration from the little details rather than the overall landscape, I’m happy exploring fields, mountains and coastline wherever I find myself. My children sometimes get impatient with me when we're off exploring and have been known to shout ‘stop looking at nature’ if I dally behind too long!


Tell me about your studio or creative space.

I’m very lucky to have a studio space at home. It’s fairly large and has big windows on 3 sides so it feels light and airy. It used to have pink carpet, pink rag-rolled walls with pink satin curtains but thankfully now it has a simple painted concrete floor and white walls that are perfect for hanging prints on or just taping up any works in progress. I don’t have any big printing equipment, just a couple of big reclaimed work tables that can be moved around depending on what I’m using them for, allowing me to change the space for workshops or open studios as and when I need to. The space kind of evolves as I go along. I’d love to have a drying rack so I’m keeping my eyes peeled for one as currently I need every bit of table top and floor space I can get to lay out prints between their different drying stages.

 Large Stacking Bowl Prints by Kathy Hutton

Large Stacking Bowl Prints by Kathy Hutton

You run printmaking workshops from your beautiful home studio, is teaching your craft to others important to you?

I love teaching my workshops. I have such a passion for printing that it’s great to share this with others. One of my favourite things is to watch their reaction as they peel back their prints and see them for the first time, it really is a special moment. I love being able to show someone a technique that they can carry on at home. And I’m constantly learning; everyone that comes in my studio brings another view point, another experience, a question that gets me thinking. When you work on your own a lot, this interaction with others is invaluable. At the end of a workshop I will always come away with fresh ideas.


What artists (living or dead) inspire you?

From a very young age the simple pared back line work of Dick Bruna made a big impact on me, he was a master of perfecting the minimal line. Growing up we had some Mid-Winter pottery at home which I always loved and later on I became more aware of my love of ceramics, both their shapes and surface patterns.  I’m especially drawn to the designs created by Jessie Tate and Terrance Conran and the textile designs of Lucienne Day, simplified motifs, use of repeating lines and scratchy marks. I also have a huge love of the open, negative space and simple form found in William Scott’s work. Last year I discovered the beautiful paintings of Rachel Nicolson, her pared down still life’s featuring favourite ceramic pieces are beautiful.
 

 Blue Stripe Bowl Print by Kathy Hutton Using Screen-print and Mono-print Techniques

Blue Stripe Bowl Print by Kathy Hutton Using Screen-print and Mono-print Techniques

 Bowl Study Print by Kathy Hutton Using Screen-print and Mono-print Techniques

Bowl Study Print by Kathy Hutton Using Screen-print and Mono-print Techniques

I love learning random facts about people, tell me something about yourself.

When I first moved from London to Wiltshire, a scary 16 years ago now, I enrolled on an evening class to learn quilt-making, anyone who has seen me at a sewing machine will think this a very unsuitable art-form for me! However, I think I’m drawn to the bold blocks of colour and simple compositions especially when applied in a less rigid format. If you’re familiar with the incredible work produced by the quilters of Gee’s Bend, you will know what I mean.

You never know, one of these day I might actually finish a quilt of my own!


Finally, where can people follow your work online?

Kathy Hutton Prints on Etsy
www.kathyhutton.com
@kathyhuttonprints on Instagram
@hutton1kathy on Twitter
Kathy Hutton Prints on Facebook
kathyhutton1 on Pinterest


Thank you to Kathy for taking part in my artist interview series. I adore Kathy's use of line and am highly envious of her beautiful studio. Kathy sells her work on her Etsy store and teaches workshops at her studio. Please click the following links to learn more: Kathy Hutton Online Shop / Kathy Hutton Print Workshops.

If you'd like to take part in my artist interviews series then please do get in touch at claireleanneleach@gmail.com. 

If you enjoyed reading then please click the heart at the bottom, share or better still leave me a comment, I love reading them. ❤️