Leah Schofield painting Rochester scenes

Rochester is a place that inspires, from its historical significance to the beauty nestled in almost every corner of the town. Medway-based artist Leah Schofield knows this all too well, and has been producing some stunning artwork centred on the local area.

 

Leah, now in her thirties, grew up in Hertfordshire, but moved to Medway to do complete her teaching qualification and has lived here ever since.

We caught up with Leah to find out more about her life in the world of art, her process, and some advice she would give to any budding artists out there.

 

What age did you first get involved in the world of art and when did you know it was a passion you wanted to follow?

“I’ve always been interested in art since childhood,” explained Leah.

“My dad took up painting when I was a child. I was always fascinated watching him paint and he helped show me techniques when I was studying art at school. Whilst I was still teaching we would go on painting holidays; my first experience oil painting was outdoor painting so it really threw me in at the deep end but I loved it! When he left his job to become a professional artist it inspired me to do the same.

“Teaching is such an all-encompassing job that I never felt I had enough time to devote to my own art. I started to sell my art and get commissions and I realised this was something worth pursuing. I love teaching so it made sense to become a tutor which allows me more time to focus on my art – this was the turning point and I started exhibiting locally and even winning prizes for my art.

“I started out mainly painting traditional oil paintings and watercolours of mainly landscapes and animals. But I love to experiment and now paint in many mediums, including collage, inks and printmaking.

“My process varies depending on the medium but in general I tend to work on the whole piece at once, getting the paper covered and then building up in layers, adding more detail as I go until it looks “right” – it can be hard to know when to stop – on the one hand you don’t want it to look unfinished but on the other-hand you don’t want it to look overworked either!”

What advice would you give to beginners and those wanting to enter the world of art?

“Join an art community and go to classes. Having input, advice, critique from others is invaluable, it gives you motivation to start and people’s advice helps you to keep going.

“The big step in my progression as an artist was applying for a Fine Art course at City Lit in London, my work dramatically evolved, and I have developed the confidence to experiment more. Don’t be afraid to take risks – it helps you to improve. I highly recommend joining your local art society, each Summer I go with the Rochester & West Kent Art Society outdoor painting where I create little postcard watercolours of our local area.”

 

Keep up to date with Leah Schofield’s wonderful art on Facebook @LeahSchofieldArt, Instagram @leah_schofield_artist and her website www.leahschofieldart.co.uk.

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