My painting passions are natural history and architecture and most of my commissioned work is of people's pets and houses, in pen and ink or watercolour on high quality paper.
I pride myself on achieving realism and capturing the personality of my subjects - with meticulous attention to the details which give them their individuality. I also enjoy graphic design and illustration, experimenting with acrylics and mixed media on a variety of surfaces and am currently working on expanding my portfolio of available work for exhibitions. At present I am exhibiting at the Tacchi-Morris Art Centre in Taunton (www.tacchi-morris.com) both as an independent artist and in an exciting collaboration with my father (Harry Harbottle).
For commissions the cost will naturally depend on the size and complexity of the work and the number of subjects but prices start from £200. If possible I prefer to meet my animal subjects in an environment where they feel comfortable and I can get to know them and take my own photographs, but I can work from your photographs if necessary and am happy to offer you guidelines as to what poses, angles etc. work best from my point of view. I have clients from Italy to Australia - some of whom have simply emailed me images to work from and I can, of course, arrange insured delivery of the finished piece.
Do please use the contact form if you would like to make an enquiry. There is no obligation and I would be happy to discuss your requirements.
A published author, I have successfully conceived and realised two collaborative works with groups of short story writers; I am now working on my debut YA novel, the first in a planned trilogy. I have written poetry, sketches and plays for various theatre groups and done proof reading for other authors.
Alongside my current "Brief Encounters" art exhibition at the Tacchi-Morris Centre in Taunton I have collaborated with my father to create "Pen to Paper", a show which marries prose and poetry (both familiar and new) with illustrations. I have a strong belief in a mix and match approach to the creative arts, in pushing boundaries as well as celebrating the traditional and in stimulating the mind as well as entertaining the imagination.
My partner is a professional musician and together we have just finished writing and recording the score and libretto for the second of two stage musicals. We are also continually working on a growing portfolio of songs, which are available for recording artists.
I grew up in Bath surrounded by a vibrant cultural and creative community. I began performing at the age of four, taking part in the Mid-Somerset Festival and seizing every opportunity to be on stage. At thirteen I was offered a place at the Arts Educational School in Tring where I concentrated on acting and stagecraft and continued with my speech and drama exams; in 1973 I achieved the highest marks throughout Britain and Ireland for Grade Eight and subsequently qualified as a Speech and Drama teacher (LAMDA). After schooling I taught privately to subsidise my acting career and appeared in various leading roles at venues across the South of England - including Juliet in an open air production in Tring, Jo in "A Taste of Honey" in Bristol and Dynamane in "A Phoenix Too Frequent" in Salisbury.
Following my marriage I took a break from professional acting to travel, occasionally appearing in amateur productions reprising Lady Macbeth or Titania and even playing Principal Boy in Pantomime. Having now settled in Devon with my partner I have become involved in local theatre groups - appearing most recently as Mother in the musical version of "The Railway Children" at The Warehouse theatre in Ilminster - and I now hope to expand further into film and television work.
I was born in Bath in 1957 and, after a fairly peripatetic lifestyle, finally settled in Devon a few years ago with my partner, Kevin. Wherever I've lived and whatever else I've been doing I have always maintained a passionate involvement in the Arts and always had a number of creative projects on the go. As well as my solo enterprises I love working with other committed and innovative people and particularly enjoy encouraging and developing young talent. I have taught, directed and mentored children of all ages and, contrary to the old adage, find working with them a delight.
Kevin and I live in East Devon, overlooking the beautiful and inspirational Otter Valley where we walk our two terriers. We love eating, travelling, good company and reading - on the rare occasions when we can find the time.