Laura Thompson is an artists based in Ikley, North Yorkshire. She kindly took part in our Leeds canvas project and answered a few questions to tell us about her art practice.
Tell us about what you have created for our canvas project?
I have painted a nuthatch as I am a keen birder and this is one of my favourite birds. I love its unusual posture as it hangs onto the side of a tree and its beautiful orange and blue/grey markings. It often hides in the very tops of trees, so it is a special moment when you spot one.
Which materials did you use and why?
I used Gouache, Acrylic, Posca pens and Washi tape to create my canvas. I have a textile background which influences the mixed media I often use in my work. The media I chose allowed me to create a vivid and textural interpretation of the nuthatch with exaggerated colours.
Where do you make most of your work?
I make most of my illustrations at home, starting them by hand and often finishing on the computer for more commercial work. I am also a printmaker and am lucky enough to teach this, so I can also use the facilities at work to create my prints on my days off.
What are your favourite creative tools?
Silk-screen printing equipment, print presses, rollers, felt-tips, paintbrushes, scissors and glue!
Who are your biggest creative influences?
I am usually a fan of modernist art and design, in particular Sonia Delaunay, Barbara Hepworth and Lucienne Day. However, recently I’ve gone all post-modern and been inspired by the Memphis artist and designer Nathalie Du Pasquier. I love her frenzied gaudy patterns and hand-rendered marks. Also, having an interest in birds, I am fascinated by illustrations in old bird books, which are often surprisingly textural and rich in colour.
If you could only use one material in your work, what would it be and why?
That’s really hard as I usually use such a mix of media! But I would probably choose felt-tip pens as you can get both translucent and opaque colour, thick and thin lines and neon with highlighters!
What was the best exhibition or art event you went to last year?
I went to the Hepworth Print Fair in Wakefield this spring which was fantastic. Such a wide range of stunning work. I became a little obsessed with risograph printing from this as I love the neon translucent colours and rough textures. I also attended a talk from the printmaker Angie Lewin at the fair, which was really inspiring.
If you had a tip for artists starting out, what would it be?
Enjoy yourself, do what you love and don’t compromise. Teach if you can as you learn a lot from doing this and you get lots of interesting connections!
You can see more of Laura’s work on here website.