My work brings together my love of oil painting, books and typography and a fascination with how our bookshelves can hold on to our stories and reflect our lives. I specialise in carefully rendered, reverential ‘Shelf Portrait’ oil paintings: collections of treasured books gathered together, resonating with the relationships they hold.
Local inspiration has come from Shibden Hall in my ‘Gentleman Jack’ Shelf Portrait, commissioned for Helena Whitbread, author and decoder of Anne Lister’s Secret Diaries. From the library shelves of Howarth Parsonage comes ‘Novels of the Sisters Bronte’, depicting editions from their collection.
I always have an eye out for pleasing groups of books wherever I am: browsing second-hand bookshops or inviting myself into the homes of strangers who sound like they have an intriguing collection on their shelves! Painting themes include Penguin paperbacks, classic literature, Wainwright, bird watching, cookery, natural history…
A whole range of Shelf Portrait Limited Edition prints, notebooks, cards and mugs can be found in my Etsy shop
I especially enjoy working on bespoke commissions, where clients choose their most treasured books to be painted together. I love visiting people’s homes and chatting about their book choices, hearing the stories of their lives unfold before me on the shelf. As the painting comes together it builds up a portrait reflecting the client’s own tales and passions.
It’s a bit like Desert Island Discs!
Which books would you choose?…