Blog: Artist Profile | Studio Visit | Sarah Spofforth-McOuat
Mixed-Media Animal & Wildlife Artist
This week we take a look inside the studio and chat with Perthshire based mixed-media artist Sarah Spofforth-McOuat ...
How did you come to be an artist?
Ever since I can remember I have always loved and thrived creating anything from collages, model-making to puppets - basically I am happiest when I’m surrounded with paper, glue, paint, pens, inks; anything that makes a mark and is messy!
Describe your work in three words
Fun, unique and textural!
What draws you to creating collage/mixed-media based work?
I love it when you get a smooth edge then a gnarly edge that’s been created with some handmade paper, then add another layer of paint along with graphite or pastel and you get some unique outcomes, making the painting look so interesting and almost telling an imaginative story.
Does the area in which you live, influence your work? And / or other areas
I’m a Farmer's wife living on a mixed farm in Perthshire, Scotland. We have over 200 cows, 200 sheep and now lambs and my husband grows his own grain - so I’m surrounded with my nosy subjects! As I walk to my studio the cows are normally spying on me and saying hello.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
All around me, I don’t think your mind ever switches off when you are a self-employed artist. I’m always looking and getting excited about new techniques which you can find on the internet, magazines, through your camera lens, countryside etc.
Do you listen to any favourite music, radio or podcasts while working in the studio?
Depends what mood I’m in, either Radio 2 or some Dance tunes on Spotify…but the dance tunes have to be loud or what’s the point! He he.. We are quite lucky where we live because we don’t have any close neighbours apart from the cows and sheep and I don’t think they mind a bit of Dua Lipa!!!
If you could invite three artists or art influencers (living or deceased) to dinner who would they be?
Carlo Scarpa - I studied him at university, he was an Italian architect who was influenced by both the old and contemporary and combined these different types of materials in his designs.
Jim Henson - the greatest puppeteer ever and imaginative film creator.
Kelly Stewart - Edinburgh printmaker and animal /architectural artist. I first discovered her at The Royal Highland Show and was blown away my her beautiful mark-making/ printing skills.
What drew you to exhibit at the Watergate Street Gallery – do you have a criteria for choosing the galleries where you would like to show your work?
I am originally from the Wirral which is really close to Chester so I know and have very fond memories of the city and of course the gallery is such a unique space how could I resist. Also Cheshire and Wales has a massive rural community so I think my work suits.
What are you most excited about artistically in 2020?
That’s a tricky one in the current situation! I am obviously looking forward to creating a lot more artwork for Watergate Street Gallery and I’m in the mood for creating some massive pieces of art and hopefully dappling in gold leaf, darker backgrounds but literally throwing really bright coloured paint to create even more of a unique style!
Please click through to view Sarah's full collection of original artworks at the gallery here.