We are delighted to introduce you to Mani Parkes. Mani has created a series of paintings for our current 'Art For The Heart' exhibition.
We first discovered Mani's work after seeing one of her paintings on Facebook, and thought her work would be perfect for our exhibition. Each of her pieces are delicately painted, and give a glimpse into the lives of her characters. To find out more about Mani and her paintings, we asked her a few questions:
How do you go about starting a new painting?
If I'm creating work for a specific gallery I like to find inspiration from the local area. I love looking for quirky buildings, landscapes, distinctive features and characters. I find Pinterest is a great source of inspiration. Once I have an idea, I draw a simple doodle in my sketchbook, jotting down ideas as I go. As soon as I'm happy with the sketch I embark on the actual painting.
How did you get started with your art career?
For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be an artist. My mum has often told me that as soon as I could hold a pencil all I ever wanted to do was draw. As a small child I remember receiving a tin of Reeves watercolour paints for Christmas and it felt like the best present in the world, I can still remember the smell of the paint.
What is your preferred medium to use?
I love using Acrylics as they dry very quickly and I’m impatient to add all the tiny details to my pictures. I like to use muted colours building up the layers as I go.
What are you currently inspired by?
At the moment I am inspired by the beautiful county of Dorset. I have lots of lovely photographs and memories from our summer holiday. The charming landscape, beautiful thatched cottages and our children playing on the windswept beaches are an endless source of inspiration.
Which other artists do you admire?
I admire so many artists, Elaine Pamphilon, Dee Nickerson, Emma McClure, Mary Newcomb, Mary Fedden, James Newton Adams and Gary Bunt to name but a few.
Could you describe a typical working day?
After the school run I cycle home and pop the kettle and the radio on, sitting at my living room table, I turn my simple sketchbook doodles into cheerful paintings. My bulldog Florence is never far away, giving me moral support and snoring very loudly! I paint until my family arrives home. I check my emails in the evening and have a peek at all the lovely artists on Facebook.
'Art for The Heart', Exhibition, Cambridge Contemporary Art