Guest Blog - Tilly Currah
Where to start with introducing you to Tilly!
Well I met Tilly (virtually) when she was enquiring as a customer on Designed and Created. It was her birthday well it was coming up that weekend and she wanted to check that if she didn't get a couple of items for her birthday that she would still be able to buy them herself as it was just as we where doing our may makers sale, and she didn't want to miss out. But it was Tilly's kindness and loveliness that got my attention and we stayed in contact from this point onwards. Tilly could have simply been another customer that did an enquiry and said no more, but instead she took the time out to say lovely things about the D&C website/platform and about my style in the curating of the product. Kindness costs nothing but means everything and Tilly is just one of those wonderful human beings that oozes kindness. So as soon as I knew I was launching GUEST BLOG I knew who had to be my first guest.
I fell in love with Tilly's work way before she enquired as a customer, to me she is a modern day Beatrix Potter (which as you read on is no surprise that she has always been an inspiration to Tilly's work. So I really hope you love this modern day Beatrix Potter painter as much as I do.
I also thought long and hard about which picture of Tilly to lead this blog with but I think the one above sums up her personality, kindness, love of animals and unique relationship she was with them.
But the below images also shows her love of nature and how at one Tilly is with it
(Photo's Taken by Matt @hollowayimages )
Laura In Conversation with Tilly:
So welcome Tilly, its a pleasure to have you as my number 1 Guest Blog of D&C
Laura: Tell me a bit about you, how did you get into painting?
Tilly: I've always been a doodler and as a child I had habits of 'painting' the coffee table, walls or the carpets (sorry Mum!)
We went away as a family in our motorhome a lot throughout school holidays and I found an escape on long journeys through my sketchbooks.
I studied art as a subject at school and went on to complete a foundation diploma at Plymouth Art College but I would say that I developed my own style organically, without specific training or teaching.
I grew up and still live on the Devon/Cornwall border and my heart is wholly here, so near to, and an equal distance from, both the moor and the coast, the wildlife in Britain is so diverse! We are so lucky to be surrounded by such awe-inspiring beauty.
L: Why animals?
T: I grew up on a farm and find peace in being with animals, we've always had a menagerie of pets and creatures around to love. I'm passionate about nature and wildlife, protecting and appreciating our wild spaces.
Tragically at the end of 2020 going into early 2021 I lost both my pony of 12 years closely followed by my cat of 17 years and I have been really finding art helpful in my healing, an emotional release and focus.
I really like photography and often work from my own images; my paintings are usually created from several images to get a rounded feel of the subject animal from all angles. When painting commissioned artwork of pets, I always ask for at least five images to try to create an overall impression of the animal I'm painting, videos are great too to show how they move!
L: How would you describe your work, Your Style?
T: I would describe my work as fluid and loose with a whimsical quality. I enjoy portraying the subject animal's quirks, a twinkle in their eye and choosing amusing poses, my artwork is light and playful, I have fun not only with painting them but with naming them too! Using puns for example. I feel that my painting style is very organic and natural, I hold the brush loosely, letting it flow where it feels most natural, and adore splattering paint in areas of my piece to create extra depth and dynamic movement. My colour palette tends to be pretty consistent, earthy tones are my favourite, rich browns, golden ochres, mossy greens, delicious colours.
I really enjoy experimenting with colour and drawing out hues that aren't the obvious colour present too, such as the blue tinged otter painting.
L: Why watercolours?
T: In short, they're convenient! I love the freedom of being able to pick up my little paint box and take it away in my van camping, on walks out in the wilderness or down to the riverbank to paint and sketch from life. All you need is a water source and you're good to go!
I like the drying speed and the ability to manipulate the paint after application with the addition of water. There is nothing heavy about watercolours, I like their delicacy and I feel the lightness of my work is enhanced by the lightness of paint!
L: What do you love about painting animals?
T: Capturing their essence and personality! Animals all have such emotion behind their eyes, each have a unique character which is an honour to express through paint and ink. No two are the same!
I love painting as I feel the brush become an extension of me, I pour love and passion into my work, every stroke is applied with total presence in that moment.
L: What are you working on at the moment?
T: I have an exciting upcoming exhibition for August which is themed Cornish Coastlines so I am working on a new series of sea-life art to display in the gallery. I am thrilled to say that I have been raising funds for The British Divers Marine Life Rescue charity by donating a percentage from all my sea print sales which I will continue to do. I absolutely adore the ocean, the vast open beauty of it.
L: Who inspires you?
T: Beatrix Potter was my favourite childhood author, her art and storytelling is so captivating!
I would say that my main inspiration is nature, from the tiny bees to huge whales, their humble beauty is just amazing. It is breath-taking how the diverse animals and birds are, the colours and textures, just incredible.
L: What do you do when you're not painting?
T: I absolutely adore nothing more than getting out in nature for a ramble, I am currently embarking on a Cornish pilgrimage with my mum in stages! Gentle woodland walks basked in birdsong, bracing coastal walks in wild weather, discovering new footpaths close to home, I love it all!
I also love sea swimming! I find sunrise sea-swims so invigorating, first light at an empty beach, floating in the chilly waters, the birds flying overhead, occasionally lucky enough to spot a seal, there is no feeling like it!
In the day time I work in a fabric shop and really enjoy sewing, making my own clothes and crafting. I (badly) play the violin and put time aside to do yoga several times every week. I am a very attentive house plant mother and like repotting them and dusting their leaves, we have over 30!?! Mad!
(Photo's by Matt @hollowayimages)
L: thank you Tilly I've loved finding out more about your life and what inspires you and a little in envy of you living in such a beautiful part of the UK.
So I hope you love Tilly's style as much as I do and please do go follow her don't just like her, please make her day and follow her and even say hi saying you found her from here she will be delighted.
And if you love her work as much as I do then please visit her ETSY STORE where your be spoilt for choice, from prints, paintings & cards. And as mentioned above Tilly also does Pet Commissions so if your interested in having your pet painted by Tilly then contact/DM her @tillyscountrycrafts (approx. price £45 but she will price on arrangement)
I think everyone needs a Tilly painting in their lives she is in my eyes our new modern day Beatrix Potter, at one with nature, animals and showcases their personality. True natural talent.
Please share comments on this blog below as I would love to hear what you think, and its nice to know who's reading it!