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Anthea Lay

Known to friends as ‘Arty Anth’, Anthea is now retired after a varied life as a Wren, a teacher, bail-officer and full-time mum. Describing herself as a ‘bit of a show-off’, she is seized by the desire to paint quickly and furiously. Anthea describes her art as colourful and robust; she dislikes delicacy, preferring a good broad brush. Her staple is oil paints with texture created using a pallette knife. Anthea claims she doesn’t have a weak area – she gives everything a go and admits she is pretty good at most things! Living in in Cornwall, Anthea naturally has a passion for landscapes and seascapes, and adores Turner.


I was first inspired by magic painting books which turned into colour when you painted with water. They were in my Christmas stocking.

I am always most proud of the one I just finished! Generally I paint quickly, a few hours, 2 days maximum. My best paintings stay at home usually. Having said that I have sold many I was still in love with!

Obviously not every painting is successful. Some are scrapped. The most memorable will now forever be the ones on the show! Learning from disasters? Hopefully, yes!

Criticism from the judges was sometimes harder to take than at others. Observe was the main lesson and I learned I was not always accurate. Making sure everything was in proper proportion stuck with me afterwards.

My art has been inspired by all the books I read at school or rather the pictures, especially then by impressionism. I saw many for real in Paris which was amazing. Later in life David Hockney rocked my boat, and of course constable and the magnificent Turner. I have found close scrutiny of all real paintings most inspiring.

I have probably had a go at most subjects and always enjoy life painting and drawing, however I get the biggest buzz from painting landscapes and seascapes out in the open air.

Landscape or portraiture? Landscape.

Acrylic or watercolour for painting? Both.

Pencil or ink for sketching? Ink.

Still life or life drawing? Life.

Lachlan or Daphne? Daphne.