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Meet the artist picture 1 shirley-3-cropped Meet the artist picture 2 I was born in Brixton, London. My mother and her mother were both dancers and singers. My father worked in the making of fantastic films and television. My background as a child was full of theatre, circus and, most exciting of all, cinema. All that colour on a big screen has to have influenced my colourful compositions. One day, after many years working in local government, I was given a box of watercolour paints and discovered that painting was what I was meant to do all along. Since I resigned from my planning job over 25 years ago to become a full-time artist, I have had the most wonderful adventure in discovering what marks I want to put onto paper and how to make colours sing. I enjoy working with watercolours and mixed media, my subject matter mainly still life, but I have been known to branch out into abstract landscape, monoprinting and pen and ink work. I have a sort of love-hate relationship with painting. I would rather do anything than start a painting: clean the oven, make lists or even do the ironing. But once I’m in the studio and the first marks are on the white paper, I go into a world of my own, oblivious of everything except colour and form. I find my creativity so hard to start up and even harder to walk away from. As well as painting I like to play the piano, watch TV and do crazy knitting.