I love the concept of collecting, naming and curating natural objects of beauty - it goes right back to an early childhood memory of mine: staring rapt into my scientist uncle’s butterfly collection, the colours and iridescence of the wings took my breath away. I wanted to know all their names and everything about them. I looked at them time and again.

Fast forward 20 years and I was in Southern Africa working with school teachers, sharing English and art curriculum skills and loving the wildlife all around me. My first week in Namibia I spotted an incredible multi-coloured bird spinning through the bluest of skies and thought ‘I need to find out what that is and paint it.’ By ID-ing this bird (it was a lilac-breasted roller) and putting its appearance onto paper, I somehow captured its essence for myself and my memory of it. And so began a lifelong obsession with beautiful winged creatures.

Back in the UK I went back to uni and studied Fine Art at the University of the West of England’s innovative and imaginative art department. I left with First Class Honours, an award (John Hullah - Outstanding Contribution to Art). An internship led to a job at Bristol model-making company Cod Steaks. Here under expert tuition I learnt to finesse my painting skills, gain a love of fine detail and manage my time, budgets and eventually teams of other artists and makers.

After 4 years and some fantastic projects, I left to pursue my own art practice. I started painting and showing at both public institutions such as the RWA (Royal West of England Academy) and numerous privately owned galleries in the UK and abroad. I won some awards, held some artist residencies, sold work, learnt some hard lessons and then some harder lessons when I tried to juggle making art with being a mum.

I took a break from art to nurture my family and to take stock. But a few years later, living in beautiful North Somerset beside rolling hills, ancient woods, meadows and water, and seeing its wild inhabitants through my children’s eyes, it wasn’t long before my need to create took hold again and with it, the joy of painting the creatures I love and feel connected to.