Stephanie trained in Fine Art at RACC from 1996-2002 on a range of part time courses from A-Level to HND. Here she talks about her journey towards becoming an artist.
I later moved to the UK and then in my 30s, with my husband and young family, lived in Indonesia for five years. It was whilst living in Jakarta that I saw an ad offering drawing lessons at an American artist’s house. I'd always loved art at school, so I decided to go along. It was like rediscovering a favourite pastime and I was eager to improve. It was inspiring to be taught by a professional artist, and I realised for the first time that maybe this was something I could spend the rest of my life doing!
Starting out at Richmond Art School
Plucking up courage
At each stage of my training, I felt encouraged to progress to a higher level. When I reached the end of the HND course, one of my tutors suggested I should apply to do a degree, which I hadn't considered doing before. I applied to Wimbledon (UAL) on a Practice and Theory in Art and Design degree and was delighted to graduate in 2007.
I would really encourage anyone who has an inkling that they would like to try something new for themselves, to pluck up the courage and sign up.
My new life as a working artist
Now, I run a few painting workshops in my studio or in schools. I've also worked with organisations such at WWF at their headquarters in Woking. My specialism is semi-abstract colourful painting and I find that tailored, themed projects give students a great deal of freedom to express themselves, without being held back by a perceived lack of skills or experience.
I have a small studio in Teddington. It’s sometimes a bit messy when I’m in the middle of painting several pieces, but visitors are most welcome by appointment.
I am currently preparing work for my solo exhibition in London called ‘Colour in the City’ at the Barbican Library from 30 June -26 July 2017. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to showcase 25 original and editioned pieces at an iconic London venue. Anyone is very welcome to come.
Becoming an artist takes time and dedication. Talent needs nurturing and exhibition experience only comes with practice. My attitude is that I’m in it for the long haul – I like to think I will still be painting at 90, so building an art practice has to evolve rather than be forced. It has to compete with other priorities in life too. But I’m very glad I followed the urge to sign up to art classes when I did, and now the rest is up to me.
You can have a look at more of Stephanie's work on her website and follow her on social media.
Feeling inspired? Take a look at our painting and drawing courses coming up over summer, and in the new Autumn term.