ABOUT THE ARTIST

VICTORIA ELIZABETH WEBB

Welcome to my Story and my Website

“Every day is a new opportunity to be creative”

“I choose to be creative in every moment”

“Creativity brings joy to my life”


 

THE SEARCH FOR MY FRENCH ARTS HOUSE

As at early October 2019 I have just sold my UK home in Winchester UK and I am now house sitting in France, exploring the South West Bordeaux Dordogne area, and I have started house hunting and looking for my French Arts House.  I will create a Retreat for guests to visit, and I will run short courses and workshops in Art, Creativity and Spirituality, for guests to come and be creative or to just relax and rejuvenate.  So Watch this space to follow my story and see how i get on with the house search.  I am currently trying to figure out my location to get the balance of town and country and I like the town of Bergerac on the Dordogne.


MY LIFE OF CREATIVITY AND COLOUR

As long as I can remember I have loved to experiment with colour and every day is a new opportunity to be creative! I love to draw and paint, experimenting with different materials, sewing, home renovation, interior decoration, gardening and growing colourful plants in pots, making soft furnishings, mixing and matching fabrics, cooking, bread, jam and cake making, designing, photography, making cards and more… I love to mix, match and blend colours. I love to match complementary colours which are basically contrasting opposite colours, to see the effect. My favourite colours are blues and greens and when I was at school my eyes used to be different colours – one blue and one green, so maybe that’s why!
 
In 2016 I gave up my office career of 30 years to become a working artist and now I fill my life with creativity in many forms.

MY INSPIRATION

From the beginning my Irish Grandmother, who herself was an accomplished artist, encouraged my art and taught me to observe the world around me through composition and colour and one of her sayings was “It’s what you leave out that counts”, meaning that it can be easy to over work a drawing or painting, and sometimes a simple suggestion of a line is enough, and allow the imagination do the rest.

I am Irish, born in Dublin, and I have a wild side with a love of nature, earth mysteries and the supernatural! My celtic roots inspire me to paint from my imagination and from nature. I have a strong interest in Spirituality, Earth Mysteries, Paganism, Buddhism, and these subjects feature in my art in various forms including nature, water, faces, flowers and foliage in hair, birds, butterflies, dragonflies. I am hugely inspired by the natural world around me, nature and the four seasons, colour, light, the lushness and flamboyance of tropical plants and flowers. I love to paint water and a lot of my paintings include water in some form, a river, a pond, the sea, a swimming pool, a marina. In my astrological birth chart I am half water and half fire, so water features strongly in my subject matter. I love to paint the flowing lines of grasses, hair, water, feathers, flowers, butterflies, dragonflies, and lots more in my imagination to yet come out!

Future paintings will include sets of ‘Chakra’ paintings using the colours of the main chakras – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, white/ gold… so watch out for those. I also will be creating some ‘Feng Shui’ paintings which are designed to hang around the house in certain places according to the principles of Feng Shui which is all about the art of placement and harnessing energy to create a harmonious living environment.

I also enjoy painting on site ‘en plein air’. In 2015 I started to paint on-site, sitting in front of a scene such as a famous building or well known place, and draw and paint in public places with people stopping to talk to me about my work and hearing their comments and compliments!

I have many future paintings in my head, waiting to come out! Living in the Far East in Malaysia at an impressionable age has given me a love of Oriental Art and Design and I love Chinoiserie and brightly coloured Chinese jars and vases. The Peony is my favourite flower and I love the use of the Peony in Oriental Art. My own style can be flamboyant and in my home I have large silk peonies in chinese decorative vases. I also love to use the animal kingdom in my art including butterflies, dragonflies, birds, owls, and other animals. I also love stained glass and marvel at the way the colours come when the light shines through it.

I enjoy portraiture and the human form, and have studied portrait and life drawing. I like to draw faces and hair with flowers and a mysterious enigmatic smile! I also work occasionally as a portrait model with other people drawing me!

MY LIFE OF TRAVEL

I have been blessed with much world travel from a young age and they say that our first 7 years are the most influential and have a lasting effect on the rest of our life. I lived in Ireland until the age of 4, in Dublin, Waterford and Dundalk, before we moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for 2 years where I started school. I have vivid memories of the tropical heat and humidity, our trips into the jungle to catch butterflies with my parents, the vivid greens of the lush foliage, the bright tropical flowers, the tropical steamy heat, the monsoon rains, the bamboo rafts being taken downriver on fast currents, the bright colours of butterfly wings filling the air at a salt lick, enormous caves with bats. A stick insect, monkeys in the trees and lines of marching ants inside and outside the house!

Art studio in Lanzarote


Then to Staffordshire, England and school until the age of 18, and then to Northern France for a year to work as an Au Pair with a lovely French family. A love of France and all things French was then born, and I love French culture, art, textiles, food, wine, café society… many of my ‘on- site’ paintings are created while sitting in a café, or are the subject of a painting!

In my mid 20s I moved to Sydney, Australia for a working holiday year. I explored the east coast as far north as the Daintree rainforest. I just love rainforests and the lushness of the vegetation created by the humidity. Boat trips out to the Barrier Reef to go scuba diving and snorkelling have inspired my paintings of bright tropical fish.

Since then I have had some amazing adventure holidays to places like Thailand where I rode on elephants, Peru where I trekked the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu, Ecuador where I swam in volcanic waters, South Africa where I did a rain dance on the top of Table Mountain, Vancouver where I kayaked with Orcas, Nepal where I trekked in the Annapurnas and saw the temples of Kathmandu, which have all added to my colourful life experiences! I am very blessed!

My on-site paintings during 2015-17 were painted in Normandy France (Honfleur, Deauville, Trouville, Rouen), Geneva and Lausanne Switzerland, Canary Islands of Lanzarote and Tenerife, Messini Greece, Winchester England, some of which are still in progress!


MY ART IN COLOUR

I love COLOUR! When people see my art for the first time they always say they love the colours, and find my work uplifting, cheerful and that my paintings make them smile! They also comment on my unique style that they have not seen before. I love to blend and mix colours, using mainly watercolours with mixed media. I mix watercolours with ink and pencil crayon, and I like to use metallic acrylic to add a touch of shimmer and sparkle to paintings. I love the phrase “Sparkle a little brighter darling!”.

When I lived in France I did a painting on silk course and have produced some silk paintings of flowers and fish.

 

EXCLUSIVE SOFT FURNISHINGS

My mother encouraged and inspired my love of sewing and she creates amazing patchwork quilts. I have always enjoyed sewing by hand, and in fact I prefer to handsew than use a sewing machine - I feel I have more control over my work when sewing by hand. I used to sew soft toys, and now I make beautiful curtains and cushions for my home. With my love of all things French, my favourite fabric designer is the French designer Manuel Canovas. I love the bold colours, patterns and embroideries and use a lot of his fabrics in my exclusive cushions. I buy remnants and mix and match the perfect colour combinations, so each cushions is unique, and may not be reproducible.

I create one off exclusive cushions using silks, velvets, embroidered fabrics, damasks, wool, weaves, linens, and I put different contrasting and complimentary pieces together to create a unique effect. I like to use silks and velvets together, and to mix and match different textiles and fabrics, and one side is usually embroidered or patterned with a plainer reverse. Each cushion is a one off piece, and even if I wanted to re-create a cushion I am often unable to because I buy fabric samples and remnants that I may not be able to find again. Sometimes I will have a pair, but usually they are one-offs, which makes them extra special. I always use piping which I cover myself, and insert a zip and use a feather cushion pad which I feel gives a better shape than the hollowfibre pads.

I buy small amounts of fabric and also remnants when I find them. I recently made a pair of beautiful cushions with a fern fabric on one side and a lovely green dotted velvet on the other side, piped with the same green velvet. I made them for myself but one of my friends loved them so much that I agreed to sell them to her, and now I make one off pieces for sale. In my sewing I employ the same love of colour as I use in my painting and I like to think that creating a cushion is like painting with a needle!

I also call my cushions healing cushions because I have done Reiki and the Reiki healing energy is transferred into the cushions through my hands as I sew them. I believe that each cushion will bring healing to the person who uses them in their home, and I invite people to send me their healing stories when using my cushions!

MY POETRY IN ART

I also write poetry and limericks and will combine future paintings with my poems. My favourite poem is “The Fiddler of Dooney” by WB Yeats and I will do a painting of the Fiddler of Dooney with the words of the Poem on the painting. I am also writing a poem called “The Winter Garden”. I wrote a poem called “What is Love?” for my brother’s Wedding in 2006. In 2018 I am writing a poem called "The Lady of the Woods".  My poems will become future paintings for sale.

I hope I inspire you to paint and to be free with your own creativity and self expression!

Please click on the word PAINTINGS  to see a gallery of my artwork.

Please click on the word CUSHIONS  to see a gallery of my cushions.

Please click on the word ARTICLE  to see an article written about me in the April 2018 edition of Hampshire Life Magazine.
 

Victoria x

© Copyright Victoria Webb, maisonartsoleil.com