The technology gremlins tried to mess with our chat but we got there, apologies for the poor quality of this video.
Be sure to read to the end where you’ll find a time lapse video of Emma doing her thing and we’d love it if you would join the conversation or just say hi to Emma down below in the comments :)
Why do you create art?
Creating art is now an intrinsic part of my existence. Its not a job, its as natural as breathing. It is never been about financial gain, it is purely about expressing my thoughts and insecurities onto a surface. Fundamentally I am a shy person, I do not like to draw attention to myself. But I am fascinated by people, their stories, their history.
So my faces, my figures, my ladies demand the attention I avoid, They can be something I never could. They demand to be noticed, they engage and they want their story to be told.
I can’t sing, play an instrument, I can’t write particularly well, so Art is my way to make a Creative Noise, quietly!
Tell us about your journey to become an artist?
My journey started 4years ago when my partner Paul and I were planning our move from dreary England to Sunny Spain. I had an epiphany moment in Spain and announced that I wanted to be an Artist, much to his astonishment.
I had not done anything Artistic in over 25 years, life just happened.
The next day I bought a children’s paint set and a pad of paper from the local supermarket and started to doodle, draw little landscape studies whilst we were on the road, house hunting in Andalucia.
But very quickly I began to find a love in figures and faces, when we were spending 6months a year in Spain, I joined a local Life Class to get some basic techniques down. But It soon became apparent to me that I wanted a freer, more expressive approach.
2 years ago I quit my UK job, that was making me ill, physically and mentally and moved to Spain full time. And painted full time, painting everyday. Now I share my approach to others with online courses. I do not consider myself a ‘teacher’, i just invite others to join me for the ride, I do not always know the correct Art terms, I do not always use the correct tools or equipment, I create my own techniques, my own way of seeing and translating my thoughts onto canvas.
My main message is, it is never too late to start or return to Art.
My health has improved, my stress levels dropped. My outlook is more positive.
Art is so therapeutic and can enrich your life in ways that were unimaginable before...i wish I had done it 25 years ago.
What is it about making art that stirs your soul?
Art allows complete freedom, if you allow it. We live in incredible times, and access to Art, Artists and creativity is easy and bountiful.
Anything goes, throw out the rule book! Knowing that Art can be the most personal thing to me, but touch 100’s of others in the same way.
What is currently inspiring you?
Hands!. Abstraction and distortion of the figure, moving away from the pretty and the generic.
Self portraits, the raw and real versions
What does your creative Practice look like?
I am mainly an Acrylic Painter, but I also use charcoal, inks and oil bars. I love texture and colour, and am constantly discovering new techniques to add underlying texture and interest to my work.
How do you keep your creative practice fresh and inspired?
By constantly discovering new artists, new inspiration, going out into the real or virtual art worlds to see what is happening.As artists we often spend alot of time alone, but I find I must go out and chat with Arty friends over lunch, talk for hours about work and art, go to galleries, open studios, art fairs, get out into nature etc. You just never know when the next design will come from, which image will spark a new idea. Have your eyes and mind open at all times and really learn to look, see beauty, shapes, colours and textures in the most random and mundane places.
What sort of creative walls do you hit?
These creative walls are of my own making, my own insecurities and failings.
We put ourselves under ridiculous creative pressure to do something new, be perfect, be different, be technically faultless.. so then we get overwhelmed, we stumble, become trapped..we stagnate. We stop.
What do you do to move through them?
When I am stuck and have not done any art for a while, my first steps are to play with backgrounds.
I build foundations of marks, colour and texture with no plan, no expectations and no pressure. I often paint over old work, building a new foundation but leaving hints of what went before.
I can spend days building abstracted textured underpaintings before I even start to consider any subject matter.
This always gets me excited with the possibilities and my flow returns.
How has your process evolved?
I think everyone who has an Art Practice will evolve, naturally and organically. With practice comes confidence and that confidence allows me to truly be me..
I needed time to find out who I was and what my style was..my way of approaching things. It is, of course, still evolving.
What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your creative journey?
That academic requirements are not necessary. I, like many believed that i had to adhere to certain academic truths. Drilled into me by a Art Class teacher....i now believe there is a different way, a better, more intuitive, emotional and gestural approach.
Do you have a Creative Self Care Practice?
Simply put my creative Mantras are-its all ok, I’m worthy, and anything goes...
Stop putting myself under so much pressure.
Music whilst I work is also very important.
Do you have any creative rituals?
Over my morning Chai, i love to survey Insta, Pinterest, Facebook for new Artist discoveries whilst I wait for the warming rays of sun to come over the nearby mountains and start to energise me.
My inspiration always comes to me in the mornings, often before I am even out of bed or still in a dreamlike state.
Where can we find you?
Mainly on Facebook
& in her wonderful workshop: