Continuing on with the Sunday Artist Interviews – many are lined up, so keep checking back, I think we need a few more distractions from the rather scary times we’re all living in right now! I’ve actually been doing these interviews a year now! Here’s Kay to tell you a bit about herself and her art….
First of all, who are you?
Hi, I am Kay Lacey and I love to paint, principally in Watercolour. Originally from the Midlands, I have lived in Suffolk since 1989. I have recently retired from my own Garden Design and Landscaping Business which I ran with my husband over the last 15 years following a career based mainly in Local Government.
I began painting following a brief holiday workshop in the Mediterranean in 2011 and now I have more time to paint, I am able to Exhibit my art locally and enjoy contact with people at local handmade and art events, although I confess that it took me almost three years before I was convinced to submit some paintings to a local Art Exhibition
I now have a small studio at my home in Monk Soham surrounded by the beautiful Suffolk Countryside, in which I paint and am able to display my art and some of my daughter’s work too. I am always thrilled that people can take pleasure from my art and even if there is no room for a painting then my art may be enjoyed in other ways that I like to describe as ‘useful art’, pretty and useful gift items that feature my work. These are now available online and at live events under the name of (highly imaginative) Kay Lacey Watercolours.
When you were asked (all those years ago!), “what do you want to be when you grow up?” What did you answer?
When I was at school, I always wanted to be a teacher. My career couldn’t actually have been further from that role although on many occasions I have spoken publicly and given presentations both formal and informal, more recently ‘How to plant a hanging basket’ and informal art demos at my regular art group.
What is the funniest thing as an artist that has ever happened to you?
Nothing particularly funny has happened to me as an artist but when I am at art and handmade fairs with my daughter, we are often asked whose art is whose. We both love nature but Harriet paints many more animals than me. We often ask people to guess – she also takes sneaky pictures and videos when I’m not looking, or aware of, that have us falling about with laughter afterwards.
What is the hardest part of being creative?
I think the hardest part of being creative is deciding what to paint. More often than not, I am inspired by a particular flower or season and know where I am going with the art but sometimes if I have an Exhibition coming up or an event with a theme, I can spend hours looking for a relevant copyright free reference. The other hard part is being overly self-critical and self-doubting – a problem that many artists share. Often because Watercolour doesn’t always behave the way you expect it too (partly why I love it) and whilst the result is probably fine, it isn’t quite how it was originally envisaged.
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Paint, paint and paint some more. Don’t be put off from starting – it is only a piece of paper. If possible, try and paint a little every day even if only ‘for the bin’ as that way, you learn how the paint flows and what will work and what won’t. It is also good to do a little practice ‘sketch’ before going straight in to a painting.
What subjects inspire you?
I love and am inspired by nature, particularly flowers and strive to interpret what I see using both colour and texture. I guess my work as a landscape gardener helps me to see colour and form and garden design is, in its own way, an artistic creation. These are some pictures taken in our garden which provides most inspiration. In the summer, it is lovely to step out of the studio into the garden whilst waiting for a watercolour wash to dry.
Who are the 3 greatest living artists in your opinion? (they don’t have to be famous!)
I confess that I am not really a fine art specialist, so here are my selections:
David Hockney – for the sheer scale and slight wackiness of his work.
Peter Williams – an awesome wildlife artist and friend in Suffolk (Mighty Fine Art)
Jean Haines – for the looseness she achieves with her floral work,
and a plus one, tongue in cheek here, my daughter Harriet Lacey because she inspires me and is my greatest critic.
Who are the 3 greatest dead artists in your opinion?
David Shepherd for Wildlife
Claude Monet, I would love to be able to capture the essence of his paintings.
John Constable for beautiful landscapes.
What is your favourite work of art you have ever produced?
This is really a difficult one …. I am going to pop a couple in here for different reasons….
The most challenging, as a study of patterns in nature …’Zebra’
Secondly, because it combines my favourite colour palette, has both flowers and creatures in it …. ‘The Bee Prom’
What was the last piece of art you sold?
‘Colourful Wishes’ was the most recent painting sold – I love painting dandelions and their seeds in all their forms and in slightly abstract ways.
And finally… Because this is really important….
What’s the best type of cheese? (haha)
I love most cheeses, my favourite is probably Brie but I do love a bit of Stilton too, especially at Christmas with a drop of vintage Port (of course).