This month The Trove is featuring Naomi Davies Art – read our Q&A with Naomi below to discover more about her work, how she became an artist, what she is inspired by, her involvement in art groups within Cambridgeshire and where she will be exhibiting in the near future.
(Image by Naomi Davies – Provenance Kitchen airstream van)
Tell me a little about you and how you became an artist.
My childhood involved a LOT of waiting around in airports, bus stations, and cafes, and I always drew to pass the time. I’m also a genealogist (www.helpfulgenealogy.co.uk), and I use it as a way to relax my brain when I have too many names, dates, and tricky puzzles swimming around up there. It’s a left brain right brain thing.
Describe your style in 5 words.
Quirky observations of everyday life
(Image by Naomi Davies – Wired for sound)
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Whatever is around me. Whether it’s the orthodontist’s waiting room, a great independent coffee shop, or a busy street scene. There is nothing I won’t draw! I especially love drawing coffee shops and the Cambridge food venues.
Could you tell me a little more about one of your pieces?
Can I talk about two?! They are both in my usual medium of fountain pen (I try not to ever use a pencil) which I then colour with watercolour. First there is the one of High Street, Aldeburgh. I drew this whilst we sat for a coffee at an outside table. I always carry around my A5 pieces of watercolour paper and a fountain pen. I included the van, because it was there, and I don’t like to edit my work too much – I’m aiming for a real scene, rather than a chocolate box view of the world. The other painting is of my view on a recent crossing on the Eurotunnel. The crossing takes about 35 minutes. To me, that’s a glorious 35 minutes to draw. It doesn’t matter to me that it’s not a pretty scene. It’s there, and my fingers start itching to record it. Maybe that’s the historian in me.
(Image by Naomi Davies – High Street, Aldeburgh)
(Image by Naomi Davies – Eurotunnel)
How do keep yourself informed about what is going on within the art world, in Cambridgeshire and further afield?
Mainly Twitter! I always visit galleries and museums wherever I go, but Twitter opens up the big wide world. I first saw the work of some of my now favourite artists on Twitter.
Are you a member of any local art groups?
I am a member of Urban Sketchers Cambridge. We meet up in town once a month to draw what we see, and then swap sketchbooks over coffee. I LOVE looking at other people’s work, and am always learning. I also try to get to the weekly POSERS life drawing group held at Anglia Ruskin, but running two companies means I don’t always make it. They have very professional models, and are a group of very inspiring artists. I still also go to an advanced watercolour class every week, taught by Gillian Marklew at Comberton. It’s more of a social group than a class, really. She has been a great teacher, concentrating on detailed technique. Lack of correct technique stopped me being happy with my work for years, so working with her has been a huge liberation.
(Image by Naomi Davies – Manor Farm House, Newton, Cambridgeshire)
Where can people find your work?
Well, at the moment, my Christmas cards are all over town ;-), but in November and December, my work will be at the Foxton Art Exhibition, and two solo exhibitions, at Tradizioni and Hot Numbers Coffee, both on Mill Road. I think some pieces may well be in the Christmas show at the Darryl Nantais exhibition in Linton, but I haven’t delivered them yet! In the new year, I have another exhibition at Hot Numbers, plus Balzano’s Deli on Cherry Hinton Road, and I’ll be exhibiting as part of the Cambridge Open Studios event in July.
Thank you Naomi for taking the time to answer these questions and for giving us an insight into your work and what it is like to be an artist living and working within Cambridge! If you would like to see more of Naomi’s work then you can check out her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter. Also click HERE to see Naomi’s Christmas cards which are on sale now!