When it comes to interiors, one thing I tend to leave to chance is artwork. I like to stumble across the perfect painting, print or poster rather than setting out to buy something for a specific wall or space. It means that I buy individual pieces because I genuinely love them and not because they fit a certain space or scheme … although they inevitably do because they nearly always feature pink, green and sometimes, blue. I might not be consistent in the style of art I opt for, but I nearly always am in colour.
As a result, is does mean that our house is often a strange mix of empty walls waiting patiently to be matched with a beautiful piece of artwork and frames propped up in corners of rooms or popped on random shelves awaiting a permanent home. I buy them, move them from room to room, sit them next to other favourites, and wait for the magic to happen … the perfect print in the perfect room. There’s really no telling how long that process will take, sometimes a month or sometimes a year or two, I rarely rush it.
About a year ago, during an uncertain couple of weeks of having our offer accepted on the house we’re now living in and waiting for someone to confirm an offer on ours, I was scrolling through images on Instagram looking for colourful interiors to cheer up a dull November day. And I came across, and was completely drawn in to, the account of contemporary artist, Yvonne Coomber. Packed full of florals, bursting with colour, and featuring behind the scenes shots from her studio and life outdoors in Devon, I was hooked, and I bookmarked her website to come back to and browse through post-house move. Fast-forward a few months later, and in a bizarre twist of fate, Yvonne’s team dropped me an email to introduce me to her work and ask if I’d like to select a limited edition print to showcase on The Ordinary Lovely. Planets aligning!
And I chose?
The beautiful I Say A Little Prayer that you can see resting upon the mantlepiece in these photos. We live in a house surrounded by countryside, flowers and greenery and it’s a joy to have a little bit of that indoors, too, especially now everything has faded to grey in time for winter. It’s inspired me to start planning our very own wildflower meadow featuring Yvonne’s pinks, greens, a dashes of red and splashes of blue. It’s a gorgeous combination.
Has the print found its final home yet?
I don’t know.
While I love having it on the mantlepiece because we spend a lot of time in the living room, there’s something telling me that it would be perfect for our bedroom once we’ve finished decorating in there.
I will keep you updated.
I find creative people intriguing - hearing about what inspires and motivates them - so I was over the moon when Yvonne agreed to answer a few questions for me. Here’s what the talented lady had to say:
When did you first find your artistic voice and has it changed much over the years?
I feel that my artistic voice developed organically from an early age. When I was 4 years old I created a book for my nana, I painted all the beautiful wild places that surrounded her rural home in Ireland. There was another couple of important ages too. My experience of travelling extensively in my early 20's impacted immensely on my perceptions and aesthetic and when I undertook my formal first year art training in my mid 30's my artistic voice underwent a metamorphosis, the saturation and experimentation of this time was ground breaking for me.
I can definitely see a love of spring and summer in your paintings. Do you find them the most inspiring seasons?
I am passionate about all seasons, my paintings exemplify this. However it is my paintings of wild summer meadows that I am renowned for.
You live in a beautiful part of the world? How much of your surroundings can we see in your artwork?
My practice is always a marrying of internal and external landscapes. Whilst the beautiful Devon countryside is central to my practice so too are other journeys, dreams and connections.
Do you ever paint or create simply for the fun of it?
I love what I do with a burning passion, I can honestly say that my practice is transformational. Whatever else is going on in my life, I feel completely present when I paint.
When you're not creating, how do you spend time unwinding or relaxing?
I walk in wild places. This feeds my inspiration. I practice yoga regularly and I absolutely love to dance.
Do you have personal favourite amongst all of your paintings?
It is always the painting that I am working on. It calls for my full consciousness and devotion and once the painting is finished, I feel a surrender and a non-attachment.
What can we expect next from you? More homeware, perhaps?
At this point in my career I am ever focused in deepening my practice. Discovering the sophistication of mark making still utterly fascinates me.
A huge thanks to Yvonne for answering my questions and gifting me this incredible print. You can see more of her work at Yvonne Coomber Art or follow her for behind the scenes snippets on her beautiful Instagram account. And for those of you who are local to me, Yvonne will be at Chester Arts Fair this weekend (November 16-18). Why not pop along and admire her artwork in person?!