FEATURED ARTISTEmma Tweedie
I find the act of painting a form of introspective spadework, where I am constantly ‘digging deep’ to find out more about myself, and what kind of creative response I’m capable of. The act of painting itself is a sort of daily meditation, there’s absolutely no feeling to rival it when I’m fully in ‘the flow’. My father was a draughtsman, and so I grew up painting and drawing on a daily basis, it’s definitely embedded in my DNA.
I’m best-known for my landscape paintings. I’ve developed a powerful and co-dependant connection with nature. This is probably down to the fact I turned to nature when growing up as a coping mechanism for dealing with the troubles and conflict in Northern Ireland. From wild expansive spaces to places further afield, they all share the same unspoken, quiet power. Nature is my safe-haven, its richness and beauty have always been a constant in my life and form an important aspect of my self-identity.
I’ve always had to have a job alongside my art career, modern life has become so demanding, and the cost of living issues since Covid started still see me trying to live the dream of becoming a full time artist. I’ve worked hard to elevate my work and practice, alongside the day job and am proud to now work with a number of prestigious galleries and art consultants in the UK and further afield. I try to paint at least 3 days out of 5 but that’s not always easy.
I work in isolation in my studio a lot due to unsociable hours. I have a very trusted group of ‘art buddies’ that I met online during Covid and who I’ve stayed in regular touch with, often joining up with them in person now to do group exhibitions, pop to see and exhibition, or even just a coffee where we ‘chew the fat’ over art topics. I was so grateful to them for helping me through those dark days, we all kept each other going, and are all much stronger for it. Having artistic friends helps when focus is hard won, or new processes need a sounding board.
Intention and Attention
I regularly take part in high level motivation and mentoring sessions, which I find invaluable when it comes to goal setting, fleshing out creative themes or exploring the things that are holding me back in terms of my skill or fears. One of my big ‘take aways’ is to work with intention and to pay attention. This has been a great lesson, and helped me to achieve my goals quicker than I might have done otherwise. With the artwork itself, attention to detail on every aspect of your work is also key, from colour and mark-making to lightfastness, finishes, framing. You don’t tend to get a second chance with top galleries!
What does success look like?
Success is different for each artist, mastering a technique, or even finding space and time to paint can be little wins with big rewards. Everyone is different. For my part, being the best painter and creative practitioner I can is my primary goal, I always feel like I’m learning something new, and want to be the best at whatever that is. Other success I’ve had recently includes a mini exhibition in New York, and signing with my dream gallery in Oxford, as well as my first major solo show in Ireland.