Behind-the-Easel with Lucy Beale

Behind-the-Easel with Lucy Beale

This week’s “Behind-the-Easel” features artist, Lucy Beale. Working with oils, to create semi abstract landscapes, Lucy’s work is evocative; playing with colour and inspired by the changing light and transient nature of her surroundings. Taking inspiration from the Sussex countryside and coast, her work entices you in; makes you pause. I find Lucy’s work really beautiful; a confidence of depth and colour creates wonderfully atmospheric pieces.

In our conversation, Lucy talks to me about her work, her inspiration and her journey to becoming an artist. She talks about returning to art and creativity and the juggle of an artistic practice alongside family life. Have a read and let me know what you think…

Please could you describe your work for us?

I would describe my current work as semi abstract landscape paintings. I work in oil paint which I really love, the richness of colour and the softness that can be created with them always inspires me. I love having the creative freedom to explore lots of different subjects – I find inspiration all around me and so my work is always evolving as I explore new things.

Tell us a little more about your journey to becoming an artist.

From a young age I always loved creativity, I played a lot of musical instruments as a child as well as always loving art. I completed my Fine Art degree in 1998, however in the years that followed, my art was left behind whilst I worked hard to get a good job, got married and had a family. My passion for art never left me though, and I always knew at some point, when the time was right, I would come back to it. It’s probably in the last five to six years that I have really dedicated myself to developing my artwork again. I’m so happy that I am able to follow what is truly my passion, and I really love being able to explore all the inspiration and ideas that I have for work.

Where do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration comes very much from my surroundings. I’m very lucky to live in West Sussex, surrounded by beautiful countryside and also not too far from the coast. I work intuitively, I have no defined end goal for a piece of work, I like to allow my inspiration, along with the paint and the canvas, take a piece in its own direction. Working in oils I find inspiring in itself, as the softness and richness of colour never fails to energise my creativity.

Are there any artists you particularly I really love creativity in all different forms, not just painting and I take so much inspiration from enjoying the amazing work that others create. During my degree artists who I studied and who inspired me a lot were Georgia O’Keefe, Mark Rothko – also Andy Goldsworthy who was creating work all around the Cumbrian landscape at the time, the way in which his work was a part of the landscapes, and also at times it’s semi permanence within that landscape was an idea that really inspired me.

Are you able to describe a typical day for us?

I don’t think there is a typical day for me, I very much fit my art practice in and around the demands of busy family life and my job. I do however always manage to fit in some time to do my work, whether that is late in the evenings or a few hours during the day when everyone is out at school or college. I have recently gained a very small space at home which I am able to use as a studio for my work. This is already making such a huge difference to the way in which I am able to work.

Do you ever suffer from “creative block” and, if so, how do you deal with it?

I’m lucky to say that I’ve never suffered from creative block. I’ve always got so many ideas and thoughts for new work – I’m very lucky that I’m always feeling inspired. I have definitely suffered from times when the work just doesn’t come together as I had hoped it might, however I have really learnt to embrace this and use it as a learning curve, to learn from it and to use it to help me with work going forward.

Is there a piece of art that you’ve created, that you’re particularly fond of, or proud of?

I would find it hard to choose any specific piece to say I’m most proud of. Each painting is the very best that I could do at that time, I like to look back over older pieces but I also like to keep moving forwards, challenging myself and trying to push my work forwards.

Do you have any tips for people buying artwork for their own homes?

I would advise anyone choosing work for their own home to go with their heart, if a piece of work speaks to you, moves you or makes you happy that is all that matters.

And finally, where can we see more of (and buy) your art?

The best place to see my most recent work is my Instagram page. I also have a website and I’m always very happy to be contacted directly to discuss work.

My website is
Instagram @lucyb.fineart

Behind-the-Easel with Philippa Horne

Behind-the-Easel with Philippa Horne

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
Behind-the-Easel with Lisa Metcalfe

Behind-the-Easel with Lisa Metcalfe

A Conversation with Lisa Metcalfe

If you’re not familiar with Lisa and her work, then you’re in for a treat! Working with mixed media, she cleverly uses colour and mark-making to create beautiful art which has a real sense of movement. There’s an ease and lightness in her work, which always makes me smile. Drawn to nature and pattern, there’s a lovely connection with nature in Lisa’s art and with that, a feeling of freedom. I can certainly relate to Lisa’s discussion about perfectionism too, as I’m sure many creatives can!

I’m delighted to feature Lisa in this series of Behind-the-Easel blogs; grab and cuppa and enjoy! And do take a look at the details at the end of the post as there’s an Open Studios weekend this weekend which Lisa is taking part in. A great opportunity to meet Lisa, and other local artists if you’re in North Yorkshire.

Please could you describe your work for us? 

I paint using acrylics, add in mark-making using drawing materials such as pencils and neo-pastels and I also like to add in some collage, which I’ll often create myself. I use these mediums to create abstracts and some landscapes, working layer over layer building the painting up to give the pieces some depth and add a textural feel – both visually and physically.

I LOVE colour and will more often than not work with a limited palette, and mix my own colours from them, which helps to create a real harmonious feel within the piece. When starting a new artwork I like to pick out my palette by choosing the colours I’m most drawn to that particular day then use a mixture of paintbrushes and other tools to apply the paint. Tools such as old debit cards, sticks and netting create wonderful, unexpected marks. I love the surprise and will then make my next move in the painting by reacting to the last mark. Sometimes I’ll paint a feeling, an experience or just paint and see what happens by working ‘in the flow’ and loosing myself in the process.

Tell us a little more about your journey to becoming an artist.

I was born creative! I’ve never been one to sit still and have always done something creative all throughout my life. I find real joy from creating something from nothing and over the years I’ve crocheted, weaved, baked and decorated cakes, made jewellery and always painted and drawn but back then I was quite the perfectionist! Then lockdown hit and I found the time to really deep dive into painting, which I’d longed to do for such a long time. I found a few online courses that really opened me up to different ways of working, change my mindset and my perfectionist traits seemed to slowly quieten down with every brushstroke. My style got looser, I became much more expressive, got my hands messy and now I finally feel like I’ve found ‘my thing’.

I also work in a creative role in my day job as a greetings card designer, which I’ve done for 18 years. This role is much more illustrative and more digital design based however I feel both my day job and the painting feed into each other quite well. I do have an eye for design and composition and the painting has enabled me to be a bit looser with the design work and work better with colour. 

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find inspiration all around as I always seem to be ‘switched on’ to finding it; driving to work I’ll notice worn paintwork on doors, beautiful sunrises, the peeling posters on a billboard and the way buildings/signs/the sky sit next to one another. Going on walks I’ll constantly take photos of the drystone walls, the bark on the silver birches as I walk up onto the moor, tiny flowers sprouting between stones and lichen on rocks. When I’m shopping the colours in the clothes or a range or candles, the dabbled pattern on quail eggs or the design and colour on packaging. I have a phone full of photos which sometimes I’ll refer back to but a lot of the time I work quite intuitively so these things, now I’ve seen them, are almost inside of me and I can work from them as I go and just see what comes out.

Do you have a favourite place to work? 

My favourite place to paint is in my garden studio at home. I can shut the door from all the responsibilities and get to work! I started off painting on the kitchen extension floor in 2020, then my desk was brought down to save my back(!) then in summer 2021 we built my wooden garden studio which could house all my art materials and makes the perfect creative place to work in in the garden. I love to paint whilst listening to music or sometimes I’ll enjoy the quiet and paint in silence.

I have also enjoyed drawing/painting outdoors in the past so I’m planning on heading up onto the moors this summer with a small art kit. It’s a great place to head for some interesting mark making or drawings of the landscape and I’d love to do more.

What’s next for you and your art?

I’m currently taking part in North Yorkshire Open Studios 2023. Open Studios takes place over two weekends June 3rd/4th and June 10th/11th 10am – 5pm.

I’m venue 39 (BD20 7AD then follow the yellow signs).

Over 140 artists are taking part right across North Yorkshire. Open Studios invites the public to see inside the usually private world of artists, gain an insight into the creative process, see exclusive new work and explore a variety of inspiring locations along the way.

You can see who’s involved and plan who you’d like to see by clicking this link where you’ll find the online map and brochure.

Several artists, including me, will be taking part in North Yorkshire Open Studios again on the 2nd/3rd December – a perfect time to buy gifts not available on the high street and support your local economy.

I’m also a guest artist for this year’s Virtual Art Summit. Here I share a lesson into one of my art processes in ‘Mixed Media Painting’ and there’s 15 other artists who share their processes too.

Over the next few months I plan to start adding video content to my YouTube channel. So if you’d like to see more of my process you’ll find more over there soon!

If you’d like to find out more about Lisa and her art, check out some of her links below, or drop her an email and say hello! 








I came across Boo’s work for the first time on Instagram. Her work embraces colour and texture, all within strong visual graphics. It is striking, beautiful and bold. I’ve loved finding out more about Boo; previously a graphic designer, and now a full time artist. Her work is all about colour, and creating a connection with the viewer. Art has to be about an emotional response. No pretence; just how it makes you feel. Fairly simple when you think about it like that. So, grab a cuppa and have a read about Boo’s journey to becoming an artist and take a look at some of her beautiful pieces.

Please can you describe your work for us?

My work is contemporary abstract. Most of my work is mixed media, mainly using acrylics but I love to use collage, oil sticks, and spray paint. I have also been creating work using lots of glazes lately. My work is all about colour, a feeling, that’s what I’m aiming for.

We’d love to know more about your journey to becoming an artist.  

Following an Art Foundation course, I went on to study Graphic Design at Kingston which I loved. I went on to open my own Graphic Design Studio in West Hampstead, London. My clients included The Institute of Contemporary Art, The South Bank Centre, Soul II Soul and lots of music industry-based work. 

Sixteen years ago I left London with my daughter Lily, and we moved to Suffolk in search of a quieter, more peaceful life. I have always painted, but began to do so more and more in Suffolk.

Eventually, years later, after lots of hard work, exhibitions and getting noticed, it has happily turned into my full time job….a job I really love!

Where do you find inspiration?

So many things inspire me. My work usually begins in my head – painting colours in my mind. My work is based on colour/emotion, for the viewer and me. I think I am most inspired by colour that we see everywhere and something will get me going. It could be fashion or some beautifully designed graphics, or the incredible Suffolk coastline.

Which artists are you most inspired and/or influenced by?

I’m really inspired by Colour Field Artists Rothko inspires me massively, I could look at his work all day long. Forever, in fact.

Can you describe a typical day for us?  


I wake up far too early every day. I try to start the day, with a run on the treadmill in my studio listening to House music from my London days. Whilst running, I look at my studio works in progress on the walls and plan my next painting move. I paint most mornings as this is my most productive time, creatively. I return late afternoon, early evening for more.

Do you ever suffer from a “creative block” and, if so, how do you deal with it?

Yes, absolutely; I think we all do from time to time. The best thing for me to do is get out of the studio, and walk Dot, our dog, by the river. Or go to the sea; I always come back re-inspired once I’ve spent time by the sea. I’m then back into the studio with fresh eyes and seeing everything in a new light – hopefully!

Is there a piece of art you’ve created which you’re particularly fond, or proud, of?

It’s hard to choose one particular painting, as each painting leads you on to another. But if I have to pick a couple of recents, a piece that sold recently through Silson Contemporary called Picnic in soft green (100X75cm) was a favourite. Also a painting called ‘In Deep’ (100X75cm) which was one of Hugo Barclay’s (AAF Director), highlights/top picks (and happily sold) at the Affordable Art Fair Battersea. It is sometimes hard to say goodbye to certain paintings.

If you could create a piece for one person (celebrity or otherwise) who would it be?

In my dreams I would love to create a piece for Stormzy; I completely admire him and love his music, and his sense of giving back.

Do you have any tips for people choosing artwork for their own home?

 Most importantly for me it would be a painting that moves you emotionally, brings you peace or happiness.

Where can we see and buy your work?

I am proud to be represented by Silson Contemporary (Harrogate) and Gina Cross (London). Instagram is my main platform for sharing my process and new work, and I also sell work directly from Instagram. My work is available to buy directly from me, via my website, via Instagram, or studio visits by appointment.

@boocomptonart  @silsoncontemporary  @ginacross_art

And finally, what’s next for you and your work?

I’m recently back to Suffolk after an incredible time showing at The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea for Gina Cross – back home to the studio to work. I’ll be painting for the Summer Show 2023 at Silson Contemporary. I will also be exhibiting in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, in late summer. I have a number of commissions to complete for clients, so lots to keep me busy. I’m very grateful for all of it.

Behind the Easel with Andy Waite

Behind the Easel with Andy Waite


Andy’s work stopped me in my tracks. I discovered him through Instagram where he showcases his paintings. His work is beautiful and ethereal; he uses colour with delicacy and in a way which delivers such impact. There’s a life to his work which draws you in. I could certainly sit and look at his paintings for hours. I was therefore delighted when Andy agreed to this conversation about his career, his art and his inspiration. I particularly like Andy’s ethos that you don’t need to know anything about art to know you love it. In his words, if something “stirs the soul…then you probably need it in your life!” I love this; it’s what art is all about – a connection, a love, a feeling. It doesn’t matter if you can’t critique it or explain why you love it.

So grab a cuppa and enjoy this conversation with Andy; I think you’ll like it.

Can you describe your work for us?

I feel my paintings would probably best be described as semi-abstract expressionist romantic, which is a bit longwinded but probably about right. However, I think that if you try to categorise yourself too precisely there is a danger you get stuck in a certain way of working and you then only identify yourself with that genre, and as an artist, you need to be open to new ways of working or you can become predictable and unadventurous.

This leads to the idea of having a style; it’s quite a conundrum – when artists start out, they are often told or feel that they need to acquire a recognisable style; galleries like that consistency and perhaps art buyers too, there is something reassuring about the familiarity of the work of a particular artist; but this of course ties an artist down, rather than freeing them up to discover fresh fields, and once a successful formula has been found, it’s tempting to just repeat yourself.

We’d love to hear a little more about your journey to becoming an artist.

I was perhaps rather guilty of taking that path earlier in my career when I painted still life watercolours exclusively for ten years, and although they were hugely successful in terms of sales, in the end they just weren’t lifting my spirit, so I made a conscious decision to abandon them and I took up oils and became more interested in exploring the landscape which I feel far more connected to. When I look at my own work I suppose I have found a style, but more by accident and experimentation than design.

I hope that within that well-worn tradition of landscape painting, I’ve been willing to immerse myself in an ever more engaged way; really trying to express the depth of what nature tells us, a celebration of the land we walk on and my own relationship to it. I sense that my work has had a slow but steady evolution which has moved in and out of degrees of abstraction, I’m also very excited about how colours work together, tending towards using a limited palette and expressing feeling over a representational approach.

What would you say are your sources of inspiration? 

My work is rooted in the Sussex countryside, but I am increasingly less interested in specific geography and more in letting imagination take over. So while I will walk through nature I don’t often record it, it’s more about absorbing it – I might make the odd sketch or take a photograph, may even refer to them in the studio, but I shy away from having a fixed idea of how a painting will conclude; if I knew what I was going to end up with there would be no point in starting, no real journey or adventure, merely a method of reaching a defined goal.

Can you describe a typical day for us?

I tend to work in long and intense bursts of activity where nothing else gets in the way, it’s quite obsessive and these periods usually last for weeks or months without any real break and then perhaps I’ll suddenly realise I’m quite exhausted or need to stop to prepare for an exhibition, which is often followed by a time of rest, reflection and consideration. After that, a slow building sense of something new begins to make its presence felt and I’m off again!

Do you ever suffer from creative block? If so, how do you deal with it

I don’t tend to suffer from creative block, it’s more that I will sometimes doubt my own ability, the old imposter syndrome that perhaps many creatives occasionally feel. But my experience of painting has always been equal parts joy and frustration, which I fully accept as how it has to be, so while I am forever trying to make the ultimate wondrous painting, I am hoping never to achieve it for fear of there being nowhere left to go; nothing to strive for.

Is there anyone you’d love to create a painting for?

I have never been able or really wanted to make specific paintings for people which might sound selfish, and the very rare commissions I’ve had have not gone too well, so I no longer seek them out. I think it’s because the painting process for me comes from such a deep place that anyone else’s expectation becomes a compromise and the process stilted, almost dishonest. It feels much better to make work that resonates with my own spirit in the hope that it will speak to someone else too, and when that kind of emotional connection occurs it’s a truly rewarding experience.

Do you have any tips for people choosing artwork for their home

For people choosing art for their home, I would only advise be impulsive and trust your instincts. I often hear the time honoured phrase ‘I don’t know anything about art, but I know what I like’ which to me is really the only criteria you need. If it moves you in some way, be it thought provoking, something that you find uplifting or that stirs the soul in whatever way, then you probably need it in your life!

And finally, where can we see, and buy, your work?

My studio is set within our Georgian home in Arundel and we welcome visitors by appointment; there is always a good selection of paintings on the walls, and work in progress for those interested to see the process. My paintings are available to browse and purchase from my website at where you can also sign up to my mailing list to receive updates for new collections and exhibitions.

We hold two open house exhibitions a year, one as part of Arundel Gallery Trail which takes place during the last ten days of August, and the other over three long weekends preceding Christmas, which this year will be 2nd-4th/9th-11th/16th-18th December. All details can be found on my website at

I have a number of galleries around the UK that hold my work permanently – these are listed on my website.

I have also self-published three books of paintings which are all accompanied by a few poems, and one where the emphasis has been on poetry but which includes a number of monochrome photographs. These are available from my website.

Contact Details:

07570 807954

Instagram: @andywaitepaintings

Facebook: Andy Waite Paintings





If you’re looking for art to make you smile; to wrap you up and give you a hug, then you’ll love Jo’s work. There is an energy about her work which is infectious. Jo’s enthusiasm for her work, and her love of colour is evident the first time you set eyes on her paintings. Jo’s use of colour is bold, yet there is a lightness in her work. Layers of bright, light colours create a feast for the eyes.

Jo is also an award-winning local interior designer and in our conversations she talks about how these elements of her creativity overlap. She has a skill of creating interiors and artwork which knit together perfectly. Art is certainly not an afterthought in Jo’s schemes! You can see more of Jo’s artwork in her interior projects over on her design instagram page @designbyjobee. And to find out more about Jo as an artist, keep reading…


Fun! I just enjoy having fun with my painting. I love abstract work, lots of colour (although I don’t like harsh colours; I’m quite picky – soft brights are my thing) and I love floral art and come still life. I use a range of materials including acrylic, paste, crayon, house paint, chalk paint, water colour as well as collage. I love texture so like things to feel very tactile; like you want to touch them (but can’t!).


I am a creative obsessive. I studied fashion at the London College of Fashion and Interior Architecture in Newcastle and have always loved art. I was surrounded by art growing up; my mother is an artist and lots of people in my family are art lovers and collectors so I have always dabbled in painting/creating. I enjoy it so much! A good friend of mine has a lovely cafe in Burley-in-Wharfedale and we decided it was the perfect collaboration to hang some of my pieces there. I have since been asked to hang pieces in lots of places and am excited to be currently working on several projects. I have my own interior design company and creating art ties in perfectly with this process as I am often asked to curate and create pieces by my clients.


Everywhere, but one of my main sources of inspiration is from flowers and texture in nature, as well as textiles and fabrics that I work with everyday. My mind is a constant buzz of ideas!


So many! Heather Chontos is one of my favourite artists. I discovered her whilst on a design trip in London. I love her bold use of colour and shape.


My days are pretty crazy as I have two small children! So I balance my time between them and working in my new studio in Ilkley; both with my design business and my painting. Being creative is what makes me feel alive and keeps me going! So, even though I’m quite often exhausted from running around after two small humans, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I feel so lucky to have a passion, and even luckier that it is my career.


No! But sometimes I wish I did! I am the opposite, and don’t have enough minutes in the day to complete all of the creative missions whirring around in my head!


I had a piece framed for my own lounge and I was a little unsure if I was happy with it. However, once it returned from the framers I knew it was the one! I also love a recent floral I completed as it feels really energetic and perfectly captures my mood at the time.


I would have loved to have created something for the Queen. It would have been a floral piece; what an honour that would have been.


Ask an expert! Art is so personal but it important that it suits both your personality and your home. Framing is also incredibly important – a bad frame can ruin a piece, but a good frame can make it. I love to experiment with my framing and am working on some exciting things at the moment.


I currently have work on display in Arlo cafe in Burley-in-Wharfedale as well as Luxe Beauty salon in Ilkley. You can see more on my website as well as keeping up-to-date with me on Instagram @jo_duerden_art