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Alice Lucy Art is actually an artist called Kerry Edwards.  The choice of the business name is an homage to her grandmother whom she never met and died young.  Kerry is mostly a self-taught artist living in London and is based in Wimbledon art studios. 

Born and raised in Nottingham, England, she pursued a career in finance and moved to London where she met and married her South African husband.  After several years in London, she moved to New York City with her husband and continued her career, working in banking.  After the birth of her kids, the pull to go back to the UK and her family was strong, and she moved across continents again, back to London.

It was during the early years of raising her kids that her love of art was reignited, she had been encouraged at school to pursue art but had felt, like many that this was not a proper job, and instead pursued accounting.  She spent a lot of time at this point with her kids exploring art materials and practices which lead her to take some part-time courses in life drawing, watercolor, oil painting, and photography.  Also, during this time, she taught Art at her kid’s school and painted many murals there.

Her love of wildlife had played a large part in her artworks thus far, as it did in her life, so consequently, she continued in this vain making artworks for friends and family.  This led to her receiving commissions, and so, an art career was born.

Her focus on wildlife continues to be a large part of her life but is influenced heavily by her South African husband, and their many trips to his native country.  She has been on safari and met large game up close and personal, and she feels a strong spiritual connection to them.  Additionally, having spent time with South African people, she has been influenced by their vibrant color choices and this is front and center in her mind when creating an animal portrait.  Her main aim in creating art is to convey a love for the animal kingdom and bring a sense of the brightness and joy that she personally feels in their presence.

Kerry can be found continuing her vibrant, multicolored practice at her studio most days at Wimbledon Art Studios, London with her Jack Russell dog, Jiggy.

Hello Kerry! Your art is heavily influenced by wildlife, after visiting South Africa with your husband. Tell me more about that connection you’ve felt. And do you remember the moment of realization that painting wildlife is something that fulfills you the most?

Kerry: I’ve always felt an affinity with animals, my connection to them sometimes feels very spiritual and I have experienced that for as long as I can remember, with pets as a child, to swimming with dolphins as an adult.  I distinctly remember feeding horses as a child and looking into their eyes and feeling like I had an understanding with them.  I think it was quite inevitable that I would turn them as a subject.  As I got into painting and drawing again in my thirties wildlife was the subject I just came back to time and time again, I have tried still life and life drawing and I just don’t get the same depth and breadth of emotion for the subject, and for me that’s crucial to a successful painting.

Is there a message you are trying to send with your art?

Kerry: For me, there is no particular message am trying to convey to the viewer in the traditional sense, my aim really is to stir you emotionally.   It’s my goal when painting a portrait of an animal, to have the viewer feel the same thing that I feel when in the presence of that animal and subsequently the emotion I feel when painting it.  I often paint the animal looking directly at you as if they have just crossed your path, and noticed you, like that flicker of recognition we get as humans when we catch a strangers eye in a crowded place and we think “I know you saw me because I saw it in your eyes”.

What is the process from start to final artwork, do you envision it from the beginning or is it a different process?

Kerry: Pretty much color comes first.  I am obsessed with colors and how they work together.  Most days as a warm-up I will just play with paint, laying colors next to each other, and across each other to see how they vibe together, do they make each other sing? or do they fade? does one color dominate another?  I will be inspired by a color combination I have seen somewhere, on a cushion, in a park, or in my lunch! I am endlessly fascinated by it.  Once a color combination has been established, the animal that this will suit comes next.  It could be something that has been on my mind for a while or I might just randomly think I want to do an Armadillo because I haven’t done one before!

Do you ever experience creative blocks? And if yes, how do you overcome it?

Kerry: Yes! Absolutely I do.  With most paintings to be honest.  Every painting reaches a point where I think I’m almost finished, but I’m not quite sure how to finish it, for me, it’s best to leave it alone for a few days, or a week and do something else.  Coming back to it with fresh eyes is essential.  Also, sometimes I just feel stumped as to which direction to go in and have no idea where to start, in these instances, I will do other practical, but art-related things like make frames, prepare boards, clean brushes, tidy the studio.  The act of doing something that requires not much thought and is somewhat repetitive can be like a small meditation and helps clear my mind for fresh creative endeavors.

Do you have a real-life situation that inspired your artwork, from a safari, or something else? If yes, what was it?

Kerry: Yes, many – but there are three that stick in my mind, I have swum with Dolphins three times, they are such amazingly clever creatures and how we as humans can communicate with them is incredible.  Secondly, I got up close and personal with a Rhino on safari on a night drive, our guide saw it in the bushes and stopped, and we could hear it breathing, I just felt so small and vulnerable in an open-topped vehicle in comparison to the raw power of this creature.  Terrifying!  Thirdly, I went into a cage with a cheetah and actually stroked it like a domestic cat.  It was purring loudly and sounded like the engine of a motorbike, I was also extremely anxious, and hyper-aware that it was capable of moving a lot faster than me!

What artists influenced you the most and why?

Kerry: I think that Vincent Van Gogh has to be top of my list simply for his genius with color.  I live in London, and I have the privilege of being able to go to the National Gallery, so if I’m passing nearby I will just pop in to see the Van Goghs, my favorite is two crabs.  He never fails to get my creative juices flowing.  Also, he was just a master at mark making, some of his ink drawings manage to convey so much with a few dots, dashes, and swirls, again you can’t fail to learn something from it.

What are you currently working on?

I’m doing a series of small works on a grey background.  I’m not really drawn to grey as a colorist myself, however, technically grey has the optical ability to make other colors really sing, so I’m exploring that concept.

What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?

Kerry: I do several art fairs every year so that brings new collectors to my work consistently, I also work with a couple of galleries where I have done group exhibitions.  However, in 2020, the year of Covid-19 Instagram has become the best way to communicate with my customer base.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Kerry: To continue doing what I’m doing, moving forward with fresh work, and to immerse myself in art with trips to galleries, and mixing with my fellow artists, I want to learn and soak it all up like a sponge.  I also want to get out and about meeting my subjects a little more, perhaps another Safari is in order!

Do you see your art as serving a purpose beyond art?

Kerry: As I understand it, psychologically, colour is uplifting and if you surround yourself with it in your home, it can improve your mood.  One of my best collectors told me that they thought my work was joyful, so if what I do serves any purpose, I hope that it just spreads a little joy.

To find out more about Kery and her art, please check:

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Thank you!

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