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Artist: Nel Whatmore
After 21 years of being a professional Yorkshire artist, Tadcaster-based Nel has published her first illustrated book of poetry.
My work has been shown all over the UK including Albert Docks in Liverpool, Chelsea Flower Show, ‘Princes Youth Business Trust’ shows at the NEC and at the Halcyon Gallery in Birmingham.
I recently took part in the “Art For Living” extravaganza in Harrods, which brought contemporary artists work together with past masters such as Monet and Andy Warhol. I now sell my work world wide, particularly in America, in the form of limited editions, posters and greeting cards. Although well-known for painting flowers, the subject matter changes regularly, depending on mood and current inspiration.
Not too long ago I was playing a part in “Richard and Judy’s” Celebrity Art Club and combined with my work in Spiderman II, it has opened my talent up to a much wider audience and a consequent hike in her popularity.
I intrinsically like change and cannot just paint flowers or landscapes for a long period. The joy and inspiration comes from approaching a new subject with fresh eyes and an eager heart.
Recently I found a new way of transforming this energy into abstract painting for the first time, with an overwhelmingly positive response from my fans. I saw it as one of my greatest challenges and believe that to move someone with colour and shape alone, without the constraint of the figurative has to be a challenge for any artist.
After studying for a Foundation Course in Art & Design at Wolverhampton University, I went on to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree at Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds, from 1982-1985. Shortly afterwards, in 1986, was awarded a grant from the ‘Princes Youth Business Trust’ and was one of the few chosen to represent the ‘Princes Youth Business Trust’ at the Chelsea Flower Show in 1990.
I became aware of my talent when I was only 10. My inspiration comes from the world around me, fleeting glimpses of colour and the mediums I use, and not least the music I demand when painting.
I love music with a passion and cannot paint without it. I frequently dance while working and have to have the volume full blast. The link for me between music and painting is clear - both need movement, rhythm and emotion to really be of worth. I have very eclectic taste in music from soul to funk to dance and classical - the common thread is that it all moves me emotionally.
My preference is pastels, but each of my subjects determines which one I use, whether it's an expansive landscape or a single flower. Constantly seeking to explore different ways of working, I am currently drawn to oils and am learning as I go along, experimenting along the way.
I seek to communicate something of all I see and love …to move the viewer in some way. Art doesn’t need to be understood always it just needs to connect with you on a basic emotional level. If it does that it has done its job.
I have a tremendously loyal following who always try to come to any event where I am showing my paintings, collecting my signatory florals and landscapes, as well as abstracts, created either in situ or in my Tadcaster studio, but all inspired by my love of nature and colour.
I have just returned from my second year at showing at Chelsea Flower Show, where I showed some original floral paintings including the special Chelsea Poppies which came about by public vote last year. This will be auctioned in October for the benefit of the Princes Youth Business Trust. Last year I was thrilled to receive a requested visit from HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall which they both seemed to enjoy.
I have just recently had my first ever published editions of my poems published, which is a collection of four beautifully produced hard backed books, all illustrated and written by myself. They are entitled Reasons to Love, Reasons to be Cheerful, Reasons to Be Content and Reasons to Dream, and are all proving extremely popular.
My joy and inspiration comes from approaching a new subject with fresh eyes and an eager heart, and there can be no better place than Chelsea for an artist like myself that finds inspiration in the beauty and form of the natural world.
last updated: 05/06/2008 at 14:40
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