Feature: Vanessa Foley

Feature: Vanessa Foley

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in featured

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Name: Vanessa Foley

Location: Newcastle, UK

Start date: I have painted and drawn for as long as I can remember, it has always been my main interest and passion in life. I have always thought of myself as an artist, but as it wasn’t my way of making a living, I lacked the self discipline and drive needed to create art on a regular basis.

I recognised that things would never move forward for me, career wise, if I didn’t start to treat my work with the respect that it deserved. So about two years ago I registered as a self employed artist, and this small act changed my view of my work. It was no longer something I did when I wasn’t at work, it was my work! This shift in perspective really turned things round for me, and now I am able to work full time as an artist.

Influences:  I am very inspired by other bird artists especially Raymond Harris Ching and John James Audubon, I adore their work and dedication to the natural world. But I am also very inspired by the work of the artists that I am lucky enough to be friends with, even though the work that we produce might be very different to my own, the attitude we have towards our work is exactly the same. I find it extremely inspiring to see how hard they work and how dedicated they are to producing beautiful things.

Effect: (how you think or want your work to effect people, world etc) My work focusses mostly on birds, it started as being local birds that I would see in the city in which I live. I felt that as they are quite common sights they can unfortunately often be overlooked, and I wanted to draw people’s attention to these fascinating little creatures.

As my work has gained a more widespread audience I have been able to depict birds from around the world, very often I will choose birds that have a ‘threatened’ or ‘endangered’ status. Once again to make people look properly at these incredible creatures that we are fortunate enough to share our planet with, and perhaps make then consider ways in which they can help, or even just not harm, them.

Long run: (where will you take it, be in a few years etc) I am very happy with the pace that my work is progressing, and even a year ago couldn’t have imagined how popular my birds would have become. So really even if things just stay exactly the same for me, it’s still all a dream come true. I am doing my dream job, have made some incredible friends through it and get to spend most days looking at birds, how can I improve on that?

What makes you decide if a piece will be in Graphite or paint? Most of my work are commission pieces, so the choice would be the clients. If its gallery work and I have free reign, I will always choose oil paint! But if I have left myself with too little time, it’s graphite. I love both mediums very much, and it’s great to have the option of one or the other, it keeps things fresh and exciting.

Links: http://www.vanessafoley.co.uk/