Commissions: Fabric, Colours, Memories

Commissions are becoming a larger part of my studio practice. I used
to feel quite daunted by the challenge of painting the contents of another person’s imagination, but I now enjoy learning how
to filter these external ideas through my own style. A recent example is painting a sunset sky. I could paint it realistically, but then it wouldn’t look like one of my paintings . The greatest challenge is converting the outside world, into my painterly version. It’s much harder
than painting to my own demands, but the potential for unanticipated learning is endless.

Due to the way I use fabric in my work, commissioning a painting can involve selecting fabric and is therefore quite a creative process. I have previously worked with fabric of personal value, a design that matches a room, something that adds to the meaning of the painting, or simply a fabric that has caught the
collector’s eye.

Sometimes a colour scheme is discussed, or it could be an overall feeling that is desired (soft, relaxing, powerful, striking, contemplative, mysterious, etc). There are also occassions where I am asked to be fully led by my instincts - for example when the commission is to create something similar to a sold painting, or to a specific size.

When I feel the painting is nearly ready, I send on a photo to the collector
and have a discussion about how they feel about it. I would never
declare a painting finished until the collector was totally happy - I
hate the thought of creating something that was made other than a positive impact on a wall.

I am traditionally a portrait painter, though began exploring landscape
and still life from 2016 onwards. As a result, I am open to painting
most subjects - though I will be honest if I feel a subject cannot adapt
to my practice or style. In the past I have painted relatives or friends, places or landscapes of sentimental value, and
recreated the colour schemes of sold paintings with new fabrics and

Pricing is based on the size of the painting, but factors such as detail are considered too. I try not to take more than one large commission each month, so the commission
process usually takes around 6-8 weeks - this really does depend on the
weather too. Oil paint dries much slower is cold weather, therefore
painting is a much quicker process with warm sun to dry the layers of

Commissions are a conversation, so feel free to get in touch with any questions you have - even if you’re just at the early stages of an idea. You can read a bit more on my website HERE or send me an email to chat more.

New Mini Series Exploring Dreamland

I’m exploring texture, choice and movement in my latest mini-series, which consists of three oil paintings on floral fabric. Each painting ponders the space between sleep/awake and here/there, taking you on a journey through dreamland. I’m imaging the paintings as an interchangeable three-part journey that follows yellow-faced figures through a forest. The journey is the destination and each painting can be interchanged as Beginning, Middle and End. The first painting is finished (medium size) and I continue to work on the remaining two. I am hoping to create a collection of paintings that is cohesive, yet can maintain a powerful, dreamlike presence when separated.

Invitation To New Blood Art ‘Masters’ Section

I started showing my paintings with New Blood Art, whilst I was studying my MFA. It has been an incredible platform for me; introducing my work to new collectors, plus getting to know the community of New Blood Artists. I am so happy to share that I have been invited to join the Masters section of the website. Here is the official written update by Creative Director Sarah Ryan. 

“Our Masters Section profiles our more experienced artists, who have graduated through our space over
the last decade; they are accomplished within their field, often having
won or been shortlisted for a notable Art Prize, and held regular solo
shows. Their unique and identifiable style, and consistently compelling
body of work, has attracted a strong collector base, including some
noteworthy international buyers.We are delighted to welcome Nicola Wiltshire into our Masters section. In August we featured Nicola in our investable art section and she has been selling very well over the last 18 months - since she was listed as an artist to watch in The Guardian, she
has  held 4 solo exhibitions, participated in a number of group shows,
received the Pittenweem Art Festival’s Bursary Award and held a
six-month Artist Residency at Halley Stevensons, who manufacture waxed
cotton for clients such as Barbour from their Dundee factory.  More
recently, she was selected as one of twelve artists to take part in a
public art project in Dundee’s West End, as well as being an
invited artist for the Reformation Street Art Project, also in Dundee
(both part of the city-wide regeneration following the opening of the
V&A Design Museum). Her largest series of 2018, a collection of
still lifes, has been particularly successful at capturing the tactile
qualities of the fabric she paints on - a trademark style - in these
paintings, fabrics such as Toile de Jouy, patterned linen and William
Morris-inspired prints become decorative vases for high-pigment
representations of house plants and seasonal wildflowers. These
paintings, along with her portraits and landscapes, have attracted a
loyal collector base; many of whom own several of her paintings in their
collection. She continues to paint with integrity - using high quality
oil paints, many that she makes by hand in her studio and is
exploring other traditional processes such as making pastel crayons.
It’s a joy to see her career advancing.”

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