I’m really excited to feature artist, Philippa Horne. I have known Philippa for years. Whenever I need artwork framing, her workshop and gallery (Weaverbird Workshop) in Ilkley is my go-to. But, as well as being a brilliant framer (I trust her advice completely) and one of life’s really lovely people, Philippa is also a talented artist. A master with texture and colour, her work is rich and evocative. Yet there’s a calmness to her work which I love, even within some of her brighter works. Here Philippa talks about her background in textiles, how she works and what inspires here. I particularly love her ethos about choosing work for your home; buy what brings your joy. Buying art really can be as simple as that!
Please could you describe your work for us?
My typical design style is loose and abstract, usually working in acrylics and texture pastes. It’s all about the colour for me, some colours can just make you feel joyful.
Tell us a little more about your journey to becoming an artist.
I did my degree in textiles; from being a little girl all I wanted to do was design wallpaper and fabrics. However, I became side-tracked at University and ended up specialising in knitwear design, and was successful for a few years. My agent used to sell my designs to Donna Karen, Banana Republic, Karen Millen to name a few.
I went travelling for a year when I was 30 and decided that the fashion industry wasn’t for me. When I returned, I started painting again and I used to sell my work to various interior design companies. They all wanted it framed, which explains why I am now a picture framer, who paints part time. It’s the best of both worlds for me; I usually have time for 1 or 2 days each week to paint and be creative. Summer months are best for me as the light is better. I don’t have a studio, but I paint in my kitchen on a big island, with just the natural light coming through.
Unless I have a commission to do, I literally paint whatever takes my fancy. From photos I’ve taken whilst out walking my dog (we are very privileged to live in a beautiful part of Yorkshire), holiday photos, to flowers I’ve picked from the garden.
Which artists are you most inspired and/or influenced by?
There are too many amazing artists to name who I find inspirational. But Frida Kahlo was the most impressive woman, feminist, artist, whether you like her work or not she is undeniably inspirational.
Do you ever suffer from a “creative block” and, if so, how do you deal with it?
If I don’t feel in the mood to paint, I don’t. I never get stressed about having to create work constantly. It’s my happy space getting a canvas stretched and mixing paint colours.
Is there a piece of art you’ve created that you’re particularly fond, or proud of?
My most successful painting is probably one I created for my basement conversion to hide the TV. It’s based on the Singapore skyline, and manipulated until highly abstract, using all the colours I wanted to bring the room together. From this 1 piece I have had 20 + commissions, all various sizes and colours to suit each interior.
Do you have any tips for people buying artwork for their own homes?
Buy what you love, and brings you joy every time you look at it. In my experience I can always find just the right place for it. Every picture in my house has a story behind it.
And finally, where can we see and buy your artwork?
My artwork can be found at Weaverbird workshop in Ilkley and I am always happy to chat to clients wanting bespoke work.
You can see more of Philippa and her work on Instagram @weaverbird_workshop