My name is Antonia. Welcome to my website.
I'm a self taught artist... well I say "self taught" but I think self learned might be a better description... lots of YouTube videos and advice from forums provided by other artists sharing their knowledge... but what I mean is, I didn't have any formal training. In fact, I didn't even take art at school... not my fault though, I applied for art class but I got dumped into an technical drawing class instead. My aspirations were obviously lost in translation.
So I guess the upshot of that was I ended up leaving school into a conventional legal / corporate career, which I did for 20 years. But man, was I bored! I mean, it was ok, it paid the bills so I can't complain, but I did always feel like a round peg in square hole... which is better than a square peg in a round hole I guess... at least I fitted in.
"So how did I get back to art?" I hear you ask. Total fluke to be honest. In 2014 I walked past a gallery one day, a painting caught my eye... and so did the price...
"How much??? Geez!... I'll do it myself!"
And that's exactly what I did. I mean I didn't think I could pull off anything amazing ...and I didn't... I went to Hobbycraft, bought a beginner set of paints and turned on YouTube. Good old "Bob Ross" was my teacher. I churned out some half decent landscapes. Of course, not to the standard of the one I saw in the gallery, but decent nonetheless. Sold them for a few quid even. Even found a new use for my redundant oven... drying/storage rack for paintings (well I'm no Nigella Lawson so it wasn't being used for anything conventional... not sure it even worked haha).
But then I was offered a chance to enter the Centre of England Arts Exhibition and I changed genre and medium; instead of doing landscapes in oil, I chose to paint a tiger in acrylic and... well... I shocked myself. When I finished it, I sat on the settee just staring at it and I was like "Oh my God... I can paint!" I'd spent my whole life thinking I didn't have an ounce of talent and here I was, mid 40s, discovering I'm a painter. Popped it on facebook and my feed just exploded. People were like "Name your price" and I was like, "As if I'm gonna sell it.... No chance!"
And whaddya know... I only went and won the exhibition! And that's how it's started. I won again the next year and then an Award of Merit in an international competition. My paintings have now made it across the world to Australia and New Zealand and in February 2022 I became an official artist for Diamond Art Studio UK.
So, in a nutshell, that's my story. Most of my work is now done digitally, just for convenience and accessibility... less mess and plastic waste... and this also means I can offer a wider range of products, hopefully to suit every budget.