Meet the Artist: Emily Speakman
Emily Speakman is an accomplished, multi-award winning artist who resides in a historic market town in Wales. At 18, Emily’s impressive, self-taught oil painting skills have already enabled her to exhibit her work at Tate Liverpool, as well as have her imagery published on the front cover of several books.
Not set on one subject matter, Emily’s exploratory paintings celebrate the vastness and wonder of nature, using colour and shadow to create moody and atmospheric vistas. Emily has been featured alongside other artists as part of the Fine Art ‘Colour in Your Life’ TV series by Graeme Stevenson. We’ve recently had the opportunity to ask her some questions about herself and her work.
Describe yourself in five words:
I would describe myself as being a very caring, animal-loving person. I like to see the good in people, and I appreciate the natural world around me. I like walking and taking photos of beautiful landscapes, particularly water, shade and skies.
How did you initially become involved in the arts?
I have always loved art from as early as I can remember, but I started oil painting when I was 12 after watching a painting program on the TV. I just ‘felt’ like I needed to do it so I begged my mum for oil paints and it just went from there.
How would you describe your artistic style?
I don’t particularly have a style, I just like to paint light, shade and depth.
I like to think I can have a go and be free to try any style without restriction. I never quite know what I’m going to paint next.
What is your favourite medium, and why?
My favorite medium is oil paints. They are perfect for blending and allow me to really take time to get exactly what I want. The colours are so much more vibrant and powerful. I used oil paints to complete my most challenging commission, which was a landscape of the Menai Straits on the actual rotor blade of a de-commissioned Sea King Helicopter!
Tell us about a piece of your work that you’d consider to be your favourite:
My favourite piece of work is a seascape I painted when I was 14. It won 2 major prizes, and I think it’s one of my best pieces to date.
What paintings are you working on at the moment?
I have just finished filming my episode of Colour in Your Life », which is a very exciting opportunity. My next project is to hold a demonstration at Hobbycraft, who have kindly sponsored me to appear in the Colour in Your Life episode.
Where do you complete the majority of your work?
All my painting are created in my attic room. It’s a lovely quiet space where I can switch on an audio book and just paint without distractions.
What has been your favourite new product or discovery over the last year?
My favorite new products are, Daler Rowney Heavy Body Acrylic », which can be purchased from Hobbycraft. They’re great Acrylics of high quality- and last ages!
Where do you find your inspiration?
I get most of my inspiration from studying the masters such as ‘William Turner’ and ‘Joseph Farquharson’. I particularly like Farquharson’s use of light and shadows, and I love Turner’s skies.
What advice would you give to those looking to become an artist?
Just have a go! Don’t take what you’re painting at face value, see it as shapes and patterns and just draw/sketch what you see. Most of all just practice.
For more information about Emily Speakman, visit her website and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!