What Art means to me …
I’ve been obsessed with art for as long as I can remember—when I was just 3 years old in fact, and here’s the proof … This is my report from my nursery school in Singapore, where I spent the first 5 years of my life …
“Nicole is a good little girl, very quiet and reserved. She likes playing with plasticine and looking at picture books …”
Now I play with concrete, styrofoam and paint. I still love looking at picture books, but perhaps I’m not quite as quiet and reserved any more.
I studied photography at the University of Westminster, graduating with a B.A. in 1988. There I experimented with techniques that are commonplace now using Photoshop, but in those days had to be achieved in the studio using a plate camera, multiple exposures, costumes, props, set construction, and a lot of imagination.
I’ve always been interested in surreal, dream-like, wacky images and influenced by artists like Magritte and Dali. Here’s some of the work I produced for my degree show …
‘My Other Self’
‘Get Offa My Cloud’
Photography was my profession for many years. While studying for my degree, I worked as a library Assitant at ‘Impact Photos’, a photojournalist agency in London. This was excellent training and an opportunity to learn from some of the top commercial photographers.
When I left college I worked as a technician at Middlesex University, then as a photographic assistant, and eventually I launched my own career as a freelance photographer, doing CD and book covers, portrait work, editorial etc. My clients included the BBC, Granada TV, British Airways, tourist boards, local councils, marketing companies, magazines …
I occasionally still take photographs, some of which have appeared in the local Tenerife Press – Diario Avisos, Planeta Canario and Canarian Weekly. I also have photographs with photo libraries which are bought for publications in magazines, websites etc internationally.
Digital Art …
Then everything changed with with the arrival of digital photography. I discovered Photoshop and suddenly images that had previously taken me weeks in a studio could be made in a few hours on a laptop.
I spent the next decade making digital art, working on two different series of images: ‘DIGITAL BEACH’ and ‘DIGITAL DOGS’.
The Digital Art images were exhibited extensively in the UK from 1999 till 2006. You can find a list of exhibitions HERE and here are a couple of publicity shots …
These two subjects still occupy me now—in my painting and sculpture. The beach, sea, waves because I’ve been a windsurfer for more than half my life …
… and dogs, well … as an artist, and a dog lover, I’ve long been fascinated by the universal appeal of Man’s Best Friend and they seem to have taken over the other half of my life 🙂
Abandoned Dogs in Tenerife …
In 2007 I moved to El Médano—a sunny, windy, surfy town in Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands, off the coast of Africa.
Abandoned dogs are a big problem on the island. For the past ten years I’ve been helping the local animal rescue centres by producing calendars and educational posters for them, and running social networking campaigns … with my own rescue pooch: Gizmo as the spokesmutt.
He’s become something of a celebrity pawthor, with his own column for a local newspaper, two books published, features in ‘Dogs Today’ magazine, and thousands of followers on Facebook and Twitter. He has his own ABOUT ME page
Here are some of the images I produced for two calendars (2010 and 2011) which raised money for K9 Dog Refuge …
Wooftastic Books …
I’ve published two books, co-authored with my husband, Richard: ‘Nobody’s Poodle’ (2013) a short novel written from the perspective of Gizmo, our rescue dog … and ‘Somebody’s Doodle‘ (2016), a fast moving, heady mix of crime, humour, romance, and a few more dogs.
‘Nobody’s Poodle’ was included in the ‘Guardian Top 50 Readers ‘ recommended self-published authors 2013, as well as being listed in the Top 50 Indie Authorland list 2014. Dog’s Today magazine wrote. “I cannot recommend it enough! It’s a real page turner written from the perspective of a Doodle who ends up on the streets of Tenerife. Lots of real big issues covered in passing.
Gizmo was interviewed about his book Nobody´s Poodle´In ´Dogs Today´ magazine
Rescue Me …
I’ve always been saddened by the cruelty Man can inflict on his Best Friend and in 2017 I began working on a series of paintings of rescue dogs: ‘RESCUE ME’ (acrylics on canvas). Each painting is accompanied by a short poem (co-written with my husband, the writer: Richard Attree). The aim is to show that there can be a better future for these abandoned dogs and to motivate people to do something.
The first of these paintings was exhibited in the Adeje Cultural Centre as part of the 2017 Mujeres Show
January 2019 – Started a facebook page Arte En Tenerife to showcase the talented artists living and working in Tenerife
October 2019- Solo show – Title ‘Rescue Me’ (See more here)
December 2020 – My paintings were featured in an article ‘Art with a heart’ For Dogs Monthly magazine.
My sculpture ‘Flying mouse’ was shortlisted to appear in an exhibition in Guia De Isora ‘ Tenerife’ (To see list of exhibitions from 1988 )
2021 – I published ´Dog Endz – A collection of Wooftastic Cartoons. Which is available to purchase from Amazon – Pen Farthing (founder of Nowzad Charity and Sunday Times Best Selling Author), Beverley Cuddy (Editor of Dogs Today) and Peter Egan, Actor and Animal Campaigner, very kindly gave me quotes
2022 – I am currently working on illustrations for another book.
My Mission Statement
I’m very fortunate to ‘live my dream’ here in El Medano. I’m an artist—it’s who I am. Painting, sculpture, drawing, photography are my obsessions … My work combines the emotional impact of art with the power of the internet to spread my message.