About Ailsa Chapman
Exploring the botanical world around me through drawing and painting.
I am inspired by various types of plant-life & flowers, the landscapes in which they grow, and flower still life arrangements, all of which surround me whether at home or away. I use a variety of media, from coloured pencils, pastels, gouache and acrylics, to digital media including Photoshop, Corel Photo Paint and ArtRage.
My main inspiration for my artworks are flowers, botanical subjects and gardens. I occasionally enjoy a bit of gardening at home and also visiting various National Trust gardens and the occasional flower show. I also enjoy walking so some of the landscapes I walk through, particularly whilst on holiday, can sometimes inspire me to paint - usually digital drawings which I have put together in digital books so that the viewer is taken on a virtual guided tour of the walk I have undertaken myself.
I use my own digital photographs as reference material for my paintings, and when I get the chance I enjoy sketching outdoors. Painting still life arrangements also provide me with the opportunity to observe and paint from life. A variety of media is used to create my works, from traditional methods such as coloured pencils, pastels, gouache and acrylics, to digital drawing and painting software such as ArtRage, Autodesk SketchBook, ArtFlow and Photoshop Elements.
I also design and make greetings cards which, along with a selection of my works, can be viewed and purchased at art exhibitions in the Bromley area in Kent, and in Croydon, Surrey.
I have been an artist and graphic designer for many years, having gained a Diploma in Graphic Design (specialising in Illustration) at Wimbledon School of Art in 1981. This was followed by a 20-year career as a graphic designer in the printing and magazine publishing sectors. Following a change of direction in 2001, I was later awarded an Open University BA Honours Degree in Humanities with Art History and Religious Studies in 2008. Whilst studying with the OU, I also spent any spare time drawing and painting, and by the time I graduated I decided that I wanted to spend more time pursuing my art, which I still do to this day. In 2019 I was awarded a Diploma with Merit in Botanical Coloured Pencils by the London Art College.
My passion for drawing and painting botanical subjects and also my interest in art history inform the style of work which I am always developing. I love the detailed floral paintings of the old Dutch masters and the bold flower paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe, whilst the use of metallic colours for the backgrounds of my paintings comes from the religious portraits of the Italian Renaissance which often use gold. Through the use of these influences and ideas, I aim to create bold and lively portraits of my subjects.
I have been a member of the Society for All Artists for at least 10 years, and this year (2019) I joined Painters Online and Croydon Art Society. I was also a member of Bromley Art Society for 10 years.
'The artist see what others only catch a glimpse of', Leonardo da Vinci.