Sarah Pye talks about her ‘scraggly’ tools, starting ‘late’ in life and how painting is her adventure, ahead of her exhibition in June.

When did you start painting and what motivates you?

I started painting in my forties, quite late in life really, and have only been painting professionally for the last six years. I am motivated by colour, light and most of all, life. A love of the outdoors, the sea, woodland walks and sunshine.

How would you describe your style?

Intuitive, free-flowing impressionism.

What do you consider to be the best painting you’ve ever done?

I don’t have a best painting. Each piece I create has something of me that goes into it, making it unique from any other piece. Even if the subject matter is the same as one I’ve painted  before, it will always stand alone as one of a kind.

Do you find certain paper, paints or brushes make a big difference to how you paint?

I mainly use large, deep-edge canvases and as long as the quality is good, I don’t mind which make I use. However, If I’m creating an oversized piece, for example 2m x 1m, I will have these canvases handmade, usually by Harris Moor. My brushes are all rather old, scraggly and quite bald in places. I find it helps with the dropping and splattering of paint if the bristles aren’t too regimented. So believe it or not, I tend to use quite cheap, wide (4″) flat brushes which I abuse terribly!

What has painting given back to you?

Painting gives me the freedom to be me. To be able to express all my  ideas, using vivid acrylic paint and inks with random tools and brushes in any way I choose, is a privilege. Each piece I paint is like going on a new adventure, who knows where the journey will end or what the outcome will be… what more could I ask for.

What inspires your work?

Fresh air, woodland walks, sea, beaches and sunshine, rolling clouds, acres of wild flowers, the natural world in general and space to breathe.

What are you currently working on?

New droplet paintings with a different perspective. An evolution of this style, where the droplets are changing in size. Also a series of funky, fun, imaginary wild flower meadows, with some huge ones of realistic flowers too. I was a gardner for fifteen years before I gave it up to paint full time. So my love of flora, wild and cultivated stems from an ingrained passion for gardens and gardening.

What can we expect from your exhibition?

An explosion of colour, bursting with life and light. I hope this exhibition will make you smile 🙂