This month dot-art speaks to local artist Samantha Danford-Jones whose creative inspiration comes from her daily walks along the coast with her border collie Shye.
Samantha tells us how she is attracted to the light and freedom of the sky and sea, the ever-changing moods, the beauty and the vastness, and how each of these elements are incorporated into her paintings.
Which medium do you work with and how would you describe your work?
I paint abstract landscapes, usually with oil as I love the blending qualities, but I also like to paint with acrylics, ink and charcoal. I often paint with my hands, and only sometimes use a brush!
Can you talk us through your process? Do you begin with a sketch, or do you just go straight in? How long do you spend on one piece? How do you know when it is finished?
I tend to just dive in, I suddenly, absolutely need to paint and lose all sense of time!
I usually get paint everywhere, even on the soles of my feet or socks. I keep painting until I’m exhausted and usually go back to it a little the next day until I am happy and feel a peacefulness about the painting.
When did you begin your career in art?
When my children were grown up I had more time to dedicate to my art professionally.
Who or what inspires your art?
The sea, skies, light and weather inspire me. My creative inspiration comes from my daily walks along the coast with my border collie Shye.
I am attracted to the light, freedom, expanse of sky and sea, the ever-changing moods, the beauty and vastness before me, the hope and serenity and the endless possibilities we all have while on this earth.
All artists inspire from Leonardo de Vinci, Ai Weiwei, Banksy, Anselm Kieffer, Turner and the pure and naive art of children!
Why is art and creativity so important to you?
Art and creativity have always been part of me since I was a little girl, I would often lock myself away in my bedroom to paint. Any birthday or Christmas I was always more than happy with charcoal, sketch pads and clay.
When you are creative I don’t think you have much choice but to create, it is a natural instinct that has to come out, a peaceful need to express yourself creatively whether that be through painting, writing, poetry or whatever it may be.
What does it mean to be an artist in the Liverpool City Region?
As a melting pot of cultures and communities, I am proud to be an artist in the Liverpool City Region, a place often referred to as the top city in the UK for culture, with its maritime history, iconic buildings.
Whenever I am in Liverpool the buildings and setting take my breath away and of course the accessibility to art galleries, museums, libraries, and festivals. I was born in West Africa and grew up between the Wirral, Anglesey and Hong Kong. I spent several years in Africa in my adult life but home is and always has been the Wirral Peninsula.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have just completed a commission of Bull Bay, Anglesey.
What’s the best advice that was given to you as an artist?
Believe in yourself, enjoy the process.
Each month we ask our featured artist a special question chosen by ‘ask the public’ and this month the question is in what ways can environmental art influence us?
The main aim of environmental art is to raise awareness of the dangers facing the planet and encourage conservation around that. I’m always trying to raise awareness of climate change. I often tag organisations like Mission Blue, led by the legendary Dr Sylvia Earle, Greenpeace, Zero Plastic Waste and WWI to lead viewers to important information regarding the climate crisis.
As a scuba diver, mother of four and more recently a grandma, this is very important to me. Whether I’m designing a bag to replace single-use plastics or more recently trying to find an agent to publish my children’s book which encourages kindness to sea life and animals and encourages young people to be ambassadors for a clean and healthy plastic-free ocean, I’m doing what I can with my art to help inform and raise awareness to an incredibly important matter.