Here & Now spoke to Worthing-based artist Marie Vickers, whose work featured in the recent West Sussex Art Society’s exhibition at Colonnade House, about her development as an artist and her inspiration.

“Art is a great escape from the daily grind, it takes you out of yourself and there is such a sense of achievement when you create something,” Marie explains. “When I first sold a painting, it meant so much to me that someone loved it enough to buy it and have it in their home.”

It hasn’t been a straightforward path for Marie. She first discovered her love of art at secondary school, where a teacher ran after-school art sessions which quickly became the highlight of her week. She went on to study A-level art at a local sixth form, but didn’t have an idea for an art-based career so gave it up.

Marie didn’t take up any art-related activity for another 15 years, but a life drawing class at Union Place (original site of Worthing Art School) caught her eye and she signed up. The tutor, John Stanley-Clamp, introduced her to a whole new way of drawing.

People who have inspired and encouraged her development include fellow artist Naomi Frances, and her partner Joe, giving her confidence when she took up drawing again.

“I was also fortunate to know and be taught by Marcus Finch, who gave me great technical advice, and allowed us to play around with different ideas and materials; and Phil Tyler, whose painting course I went on – it allowed me to finally paint, and I haven’t looked back since!”

Describing how she starts a piece, Marie said, “I find an image I really like the look of, sketch it out, and then, if it feels right, paint it. I love working with acrylic paint; it is very forgiving, and dries quickly, which suits me very well as I can be quite impatient!”

Marie cites Tamara de Lempicka as an artist whose figure painting she admires, and Dorothea Tanning, the American painter and sculptor, whose work is currently on exhibition at Tate Modern. Her own favourite work?

“It’s usually the one I am working on. You spend so much time working on it and looking at it – you do have to love it a little bit. But once it’s finished, I move on to the next one!”

Marie will be participating in this year’s Worthing Artists Open Houses based in Rose Walk, where her paintings and sea glass jewellery will be on display. Visit www.marievickers.co.uk

By Hazel Imbert

Art Correspondent

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