ARTIST LIFE: Sarah Wimperis

ARTIST LIFE: Sarah Wimperis

We are all inherently nosy. How do other artists work, what do their studios look like, what’s their working practice, what are their favourite tools? We want to share our struggles and successes, awards and knock backs. What keeps you going – strong coffee, determination or a mixture of both? Do you work best at night time or first thing in the morning? Do you have a favourite chair or lucky brush? Sarah Wimperis – share your Artist Life with Pegasus Art.

Artist Life: Sarah Wimperis in her studio
Sarah Wimperis in her studio

What is your regular painting practice? Do you paint or draw every day?

Every single day, without fail. Not always something grand, often it’s just in a sketchbook, even if it’s only a short time. If I don’t do something I get very cranky and eventually burst!

Are you a trained artist, or self taught? Do you think it matters?

I am a trained artist, in that I have a degree in Fine Art. Sculpture to be precise. However I really believe it doesn’t matter at all, after all getting yourself proficient at anything requires years of dedication and practice, a passion for the subject and a desire to get better all the time. Plus I don’t think that ever stops, you just keep learning.

Artist Life: Sarah Wimperis
Sarah Wimperis painting plein air

Are you part of a painting group? Do you have mentors or people to help and advise you?

I don’t belong to any groups. I’m not very good at that but I do have alot of friends who are also artists so every now and again we might have an arty moaning session. The people that I talk to the most about my work is my family. There are quite a few artists and musicians and we talk alot about the creative process and the problems that process can cause.

How do you fit painting in around family life? Do you (or did you) work in a day job alongside life as a painter?

When our kids were small I did alot of illustration work plus I have a great partner who is good at cooking, shopping and all the boring stuff. I am very proud to say that I have brought up five kids and now have eight grandchildren on the efforts of my creativity. But it came with alot of support on the home front.

Artist Life: Van Gogh inspired paintings by Sarah Wimperis
Oil painting inspired by Van Gogh

What really inspires you?

Life, light, everything all around. Art aswell, other peoples work. Sometimes I feel as if there is too much to see, everything is so inspiring.

Tell us which materials you favour and why.

I love oil painting, strong colours and the ultimate paint for changing, shaping and refining your work. Watercolour because of it’s unexpected results, I love the risks of painting with this medium. Gouache because of it’s chalky solid wonderful appearance and because it’s like a mini oil painting, great for plans and studies.

Sarah Wimperis version of a Van Gogh self portrait
A Van Gogh self portrait painted by Sarah Wimperis

Do you have a favourite brush shape?

I do like a round brush! That’s what I use the most, but I have loads of different shapes and sizes, I keep them far too long. You must make sure the bristles are secure!

As the saying goes, ‘it’s never too late’. What advice do you have for people who want to take up painting later in life?

Just do it, if for nothing else than the sheer pleasure of painting and just being creative. Expect to work hard and don’t expect to be a great artist instantly…it takes a lot of practice but it’s a lot of fun along the way.

Artist Life: Sarah Wimperis paints her family
Bringing up five children as an artist is one of her greatest achievements

How did you make the leap to become a professional artist? What made a difference to you?

I’m not sure really, I have always painted so followed the usual route. Art degree and then out into the big wide world. I have always earned my living from art, with a kind of portfolio career – a bit of everything, teaching, illustrating, a mural company and gradually painting became one of my biggest income streams. I still teach and illustrate, but mostly paint.

Who was your greatest art influence – teacher, famous artist…

Van Gogh of course!

Sarah Wimperis - another Van Gogh inspired portrait

Do you enter painting competitions?

Sometimes….but I hate the way it makes me feel if I don’t get selected, so I try not to!

What are you working on now?

A series of landscapes, a series of swimming paintings, some small lino prints. All for exhibitions that I have lined up. A book about oil painting for beginners and a futuristic graphic novel…among other things.

Sarah Wimperis teaching an oil painting workshop at Pegasus Art in the Attic Studo
Sarah Wimperis teaching an oil painting workshop at Pegasus Art

What has been your biggest success as a painter?

Working on the Oscar nominated film, Loving Vincent – the feature film about Van Gogh I suppose, but I also think that bringing up five children on the proceeds of my artwork is a pretty successful thing to do.

What is the single best piece of advice you can give to another artist?

Keep working, keep learning, never stop.

Sarah Wimperis gives an Art Talk at Pegasus Art
Sarah Wimperis has given various Art Talks at Pegasus Art

Sarah Wimperis Workshops at Pegasus Art

8th February – Colour: Abstracts and Mark Making BOOK ONLINE HERE

7th March – Van Gogh in Provence BOOK ONLINE HERE

25th April – Van Gogh Sunflowers & Irises BOOK ONLINE HERE

23rd May – Learn to paint en plein air BOOK ONLINE HERE

26th 27th & 28th June – ‘From the Beginning’ Learn how to paint in three days BOOK ONLINE HERE