As a small child I was encouraged to draw and paint the flowers and animals on my grandads allotment - mainly I think to keep me quiet while he was working!
Every Saturday he'd take me to the shops and I'd spend ages choosing some new pencils or paper and then a bag of sweets before heading home for tea. I'd spend ages trying to capture all the detail in a bramble flower or all the light and shade of one of his prized roses or maybe just sketching the whiskery old cat lazing on the path in the sun.
I think this is why I love painting natural subjects and painting such detailed portraits of animals, capturing the way their fur lies, its patterns and textures. I also just love animals and have had a range of pets from stick insects to dogs, cats,ferrets and hedgehogs, though the hedgehogs are always temporary guests released back into the woods in spring as rather fat teenagers! I have had the pleasure of the company of some truly wonderful souls, all loved and special in their own way, some of whom have now had to move on but who will always be with me in my heart.