Today, I’m delighted to introduce to you the very talented artist, Mary Woodin.
Based in the UK, Mary specialises in painting natural subjects, including flowers, using watercolours.
As well as painting for clients which include Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Wedgwood and The National Trust, she also exhibits her original artwork.
Here are a selection of her gorgeous floral paintings:
Mary very kindly answered a few questions for me:
When did you start your business and where are you based?
I’ve been freelancing ever since I left the Royal College of Art way back in 1988.
After many years painting in a wonderful panelled room in our Georgian flat in London, we swapped urban for rural and so now I’m based in a light-filled studio in our large garden in north Suffolk.
My window overlooks a huge Indian bean tree, a beech laced with clematis, contorted willow, gunnera and a pond with a resident kingfisher. At this time of year especially, with the leaves changing colour daily, I feel as though I am immersed in an interwoven William Morris design.
Where do you get your floral inspiration for your designs?
I’m constantly inspired by my immediate environment. I love the detail in the textures and colours of our garden, the surrounding countryside and the changing seasons.
I always prefer to paint from life and try to grow my own subjects or ‘borrow’ them from friends’ gardens.
I initially trained as a textile designer so devour lifestyle magazines like Country Living and Elle Decoration, and on a wet winter’s day, the Designers Guild website can be guaranteed to cheer me up.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2011?
I’m currently building up painting stocks for a number of regional galleries, with subjects ranging from flowers to chickens, and borlotti beans to beach pebbles.
I’m also looking forward to the launch, at the end of this year, of a new stationery range that I illustrated for New York based, Galison.
Over the past few years, I’ve written and illustrated ‘The Painted Garden – A Year in Words and Watercolours’ and ‘The Painted Garden Cookbook’ …. so new book ideas are bubbling away too.
Do you have a favourite flower?
Such a difficult question, so much choice, but my desert island flower would be the iris.
I never tire of trying to capture its fragility, from the palest wash of colour to the deepest velvet tones. I’ve planted a whole bed of irises in our garden, in a rainbow of colours and I love to sit outside and paint them.
For the ultimate choice of colours, I take an empty bucket and a pair of secateurs down to my local, friendly wholesale nursery where I am at liberty to roam and snip among acres of irises.
(Images : Mary Woodin)