Q&A with Nel Whatmore

Nel WhatmoreWhat’s your background?

I have been a professional artist for 29 years.  I was born in Wolverhampton and went to Wolverhampton Polytechnic and then did my degree up at Leeds.  I have now been in Yorkshire longer than I was in the Midlands.  I was awarded a grant from the Prince’s Youth Business Trust in 1986 which was invaluable, with the help of the Trust I have exhibited all over the UK.  I now exhibit my florals regularly at the Chelsea Flower Show and have won multiple awards for my stand.  I now live in Tadcaster with my husband, the writer Mark Morris and have two children.  I am a founder of The New Pastel School with Rebecca de Mendonca and seek to sing the praises of pastels in all their glory?

Explain what you do in 100 words.Nel Whatmore - N2227 Lust for life

I seek to convey something of what we all see and feel and yet find hard to express.  I want to make people look again and be uplifted by the natural world, but also simply by colour, line and light.  It is a life long pursuit.

What five words best describe your work?

Expressive, colourist who loves pastels.

What are you working on at the moment?

A series of paintings of the Norfolk Coast and also later in the year I will be working on several studies of the Perennial Society’s beautiful garden at York Gate in Leeds.

What artists inspire you?

Degas, Sally Strand and Mark Demsteader.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

‘If it’s worth doing something, it’s worth doing it well.’

Favourite or most inspirational place in Yorkshire?

Thorpe Perrow Arboretum.

Tell us something we don’t know.

I wrote to Prince Charles, 21 years after getting a grant from his charity to tell him I would be at Chelsea and that I had never met him and that it would be nice if he was passing to say thank you.  I expected nothing to happen.  His head gardener at Highgrove turned up and said, “His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales received your letter and wondered if he could come and see you tonight, with his wife Camilla!!!!”  I replied, “You are joking!”.  He wasn’t and he did!

www.nelwhatmore.com

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