Artists Spotlight


At what age was it that you created a piece of art and realised this was going to be such a huge part of your life?

As a child I was constantly creative, constantly making, constantly doing, so it was more the other way around, it was more what a shock not to be doing that and not to be living your life from that place – if anything I have spent the rest of my life coming back to exactly how it was in the early days. From a professional angle, my family have always been interested in art, interiors and design and my Uncle was very good friends with the American artist Don Sellier and he had a piece of his work which was a very large charcoal drawing, very bodily, with incredible form and incredible lines – I saw that and thought there is nothing more powerful for me than the ability to communicate in that format. He trained under Ossip Zadkine and Isamu Noguchi, with an interest in energy which is of course what I am interested in. I have only just found out this detail, years later. There is this lovely quote by Zadkine “All true sculpture vibrates with life, no matter from what age or from what race of people” and I would say the same for painting – it is being immersed in it, even from a young age.

Your artwork includes objects, places and combine your love of nature and architecture. Do you have an emotional connection with each painting or are you purely capturing what you as an individual are seeing?

I am very concerned with the formal elements of painting, so I am interested in tonal relations, the colour, the composition and the exploration of that.  But there is an emotional charge that drives the painting and that is a connection, but I am not deliberately setting out to paint something.  Something will appear that will perhaps be a reminder of a hint of a place or an object. I’m exploring an emotional charge around something and this is an internal feeling.


Your work is bold, vibrant and bright, would you say that your time spent in the Bahamas has influenced this expression?

I had no idea that the influence of the Bahamas had become such a thing. It wasn’t until I was with Candida and she really picked up on it. I am very taken by the play of light and the light in the Bahamas is quite incredible, because they have this bleached white sand and this turquoise water – there is nowhere quite like it. I have travelled extensively and I have never seen water that clear or the light reflection as strong. I have grown up with paintings and prints of the Bahamas all around the house. I might be intrigued by the play of tone or form from just a quick photo taken on my mobile or something I have seen in a magazine. I will systematically explore that and then hey presto out comes something that sums up exactly what I have seen or felt, a feeling that reminds you of that place.


What journey are you taking people on who view your work?
An inner journey

Are there any elements of your personality reflected in your work?

I follow classical formal painting using oil paints, there is a certain technique, you have to lay it down and it takes considerable time. My work is about shape, form, colour and most importantly it is about being as honest as I possibly can. In painting it is very easy to restrict yourself to an idea of what a piece of art should look like, but the challenge is to stay ‘live’ to a painting, let go of the limitations because the reality is that you can’t control it. There is total honesty to what you are doing, it is boundless.

Arthur's Orchard, 2020 Oil on canvas 88 x 104 cm

What are your most important artists’ tools, anything you simply couldn’t live without?

Michael Harding paint, I just love it; it’s buttery and has an incredible weight.


On average how long does it take you to complete a piece of art?

With oil paint you lay it down, then you have to wait, then lay it down again.  So no matter what you do with oil paint on canvas it takes time – you can’t rush.  With a work on paper, you can go one, two, three times let’s say over a week in essence, but a painting can take months.  In fact, I still have paintings in progress from years ago – they are in my studio, I bring them out, look at them and then I put them away again.


So with those paintings that are incomplete, why the delay?

You have got to a place with the painting and the painting needs to guide you to the next place in some sense – it will never work if you force something onto a piece; I want to be able to make that mark, it needs to be a very clear, pure thing, not from the intellect.

Do you ever have ‘creative block’ and if you do, how do you realign yourself?

Painting is very much a dance.  It is definitely something you are in rhythm with and you need to stay very present to it and recognise where you are in the process.  It can be frustrating at times with where we want to be with our painting or indeed our writing and in essence that is part of it – you can make that difficult and see the negative or you can choose to find another way to be with it. 


Your work is currently being exhibited within the Candida Stevens Gallery – what guided you here and do you have strong relationships with other galleries?

A number of artists (Chris McHugh, Steve McDade and Rachel Redfern) recommended Candida and felt that my art would work very well within her gallery.  When I met with Candida there was definitely an instant connection – I am very intense on colour and my enquiry, which Candida very much related to.  Once the connection was formed, I wanted to exhibit with Candida; there is a dedication and professionalism for what we are doing which is reflected from both sides.   



Some of your work hangs on board the beautiful house boat ‘Ele’ moored in Bembridge – has the Solent and surrounding area had an influence on any of your work?

My husband would laugh at this, because my whole iPhone is filled with pictures of dark bits of wood and splurgy bits of water – it is filled with useless photos which are of course handy to me but if anyone else looked at them they would think someone had miscaptured.  Definitely the paintings on Ele have been influenced by the surrounding area and the more I study them, the more obvious this is.

Charlotte’s work hanging in the gorgeous houseboat ‘Ele’, sensitively framed by Lasermark to compliment the art and its surroundings.

Lasermark frame much of your work, how did your relationship with David and his team begin?

I love Lasermark.  Candida has a fantastic relationship with Lasermark who frame all of her gallery pieces for exhibitions. I met David at the gallery – he is so knowledgeable and has a fantastic eye which is something that I really value.  It is so important for the frame to encourage the piece of art to take on another form and it is lovely to be in dialogue with someone who has an appreciation and dedication to what they are doing. I always look forward to visiting Lasermark and the fantastic team there.  Lasermark framed all the work on the boat and art for all my exhibitions.



How do you title your work, where does this inspiration come from?

I always title my work once they are completed, because I am not working from something in terms of a set plan – there is no narrative for my work, there will be an impetus that I was exploring within the painting. ‘Agnes and the Blue Looking Glass’ is a small painting downstairs in the bedroom – it holds an element of above, below, spatial, with particular colours of the sea, blues and greens. My mother would tell stories about being in the Bahamas and she used to take tourists out on a glass bottomed boat – there was something in this painting that when I finished it, it was the blue looking glass. But the forms that were in the painting had come from drawings of Agnes Beach down in Cornwall. The enquiry on a formal element was this reflection of having seen Agnes Martin’s show – she is pure abstraction and very minimal but interested in the interior aspect. The words come a little like poetry for me, so when that came, ‘Agnes and the Blue Looking Glass’ was a perfect alliance.



Do you have a favourite piece of your own work and, if so, where is it hanging?

I have a piece of work at the moment which I really enjoy going back to which is the large painting on the house boat ‘Untitled’. The more I look at it, the more form the painting takes with further recognisable elements and from that point I greatly enjoy it – this is an area I have concentrated on deepening, just allowing that to happen rather than pure abstraction. This painting opens the doorway to intensifying the whole exploration of abstraction and figuration.

Charlotte’s beautiful art adorns the walls of this stunning houseboat in Bembridge, available for holiday rental, see it here 

What advice would you give your younger self, in relation to the world of art and the journey you have experienced so far?

Not to be overwhelmed by the emotion, it is an intense feeling. To structure and be objective in your organisation and planning and to know that you will always show your creativity if it is a burning passion, in whatever form.


How has the Covid pandemic affected your day-to-day artists’ routine?

The biggest effect was that I was in the midst of a solo exhibition when Covid hit last year, so we had to pivot very quickly. Candida moved everything online, creating viewing rooms and a digital catalogue. The adjustments that galleries have had to make over the last 12 months is just incredible.

I as a painter get an awful lot by looking at paintings, how have they laid that down, how is that done, where has that colour come in – I’m obsessed with looking at the paint marks, from modern paintings to historical classical paintings – I would go regularly to galleries to look at paintings and I had no idea how active I was at doing this, until Covid hit. The whole thing stopped and it was a real shock and made me realise how much of my painting process involves just looking.

I am extremely lucky that my studio is within walking distance of my home.


If you were to invite three artists, past or present, to join you around the table for dinner, who would they be and why?

Amy Sillman, an amazing American artist, incredible at self-generating atmospheres of colour. Amy has great humour with her art which is refreshing within the art world. Varda Caivano who is all about gesture, her artwork is sensitive and live. Miyamoto Musashi, stunning paintings – that whole period where they write beautiful poetry such as “Perceive that which cannot be perceived by the eye” and “The world endlessly animated by the Divine”. Sweeping, grand, emotional and romantic but with the ability to paint the most delicate paintings – I just love it.

Follow @charlotteedsell on Instagram

Did you enjoy reading this? Please share



Andy Waite is an Arundel based artist whose expressionist landscape pieces are “a poetic celebration of the English sky and weather in all their elemental power”. He has exhibited extensively both from his home and a selection of galleries and has also published three books. We were fortunate enough to steal a few moments of his time (over the phone, due to COVID-19 restrictions).


Are you formally trained in art? Has it always been your career and was it something you’d always wanted to do?

I wasn’t trained, no. I had always had leanings towards it but I suppose I never thought I’d find myself becoming a full time artist and my training was in graphic design. It was somewhat related and of course there are elements of drawing and creating which can go into design projects. I became a freelance graphic designer after leaving college and was sometimes able to incorporate more of an artistic flair as opposed to purely being about typography or advertising. That was the closest I felt I could get to being an artist while still keeping up some sort of working life.

So how did you then transition into art as a career? 
A group of artists started an open house event called The Gallery Trail in Arundel in 1989. These events happen in towns up and down the country these days but I think we were one of the earlier ones. It was brought to my attention, as somebody who was quite arty, that they were looking for artists to take part. At that point I hadn’t done a great deal of my own work and suddenly I had to organise a show in my own home!


Andy Waite - Painter
Andy Waite In His Studio - Photo by Jonathon Wilson

I played around with watercolours and had the idea of producing still life with watercolours. So that became the subject of my first ever exhibition as part of the Gallery Trail and to my amazement, I sold a couple of paintings! I carried on with my design work as well as some signwriting around the town which I got into almost by accident. Twelve months later with the Gallery Trail in its second year, I managed to sell a few more paintings and over the next few years I found myself doing pretty well, not just through the open house events but getting involved with galleries further afield. I was able to give up the graphic design work in I think around 1995 because I’d begun to earn a living from my art.


Fast forward to around the turn of the century and while it was still going well in terms of selling I found something wasn’t really gelling; it wasn’t satisfying the soul. It was enjoyable but nothing deeper than that, so I made a conscious decision to change my medium to oils and chose other subjects which turned out to be largely landscapes, which continues to this day.


There was definitely a period of a year or so where I was struggling with this new medium. Oils are so different to watercolour and there was a great deal of experimentation until I found a way of working which suited me. The paintings were still recognisable as landscapes but I’d become more interested in working with abstraction and expressionism. I felt it was important for me to not just continue doing something because it was successful, but to try and challenge myself; not just sitting in my comfort zone.

What about the technical side of things? Do you have a set colour palette you use and how would you describe your technique?

The technique is essentially plastering oil paint onto a canvas and hoping for the best! In terms of colours there is a lot of interpretation going on – I don’t look at nature and think green immediately although it largely is of course, especially in this country, our green and pleasant land. I prefer to work towards expressing feelings through colour, this year there has been a great deal of orange coming through in my work, for whatever reason. Green is quite a difficult colour for me, so I like to use morning or evening light when the shadows are longer and the contrasts stronger. I don’t have a set palette, it’s more of an intuitive thing, discovering what works along the way and just continuous experimentation and evolution. I find that if I’m stopping and thinking too much it’s time to put a piece aside to sit for a while. I sometimes have to remind myself that I’m not a graphic designer anymore and that it’s not all about clean lines and I can actually do whatever I want, which is a wonderful luxury. It’s all about keeping the freedom of movement.
Flicker - Andy Waite
Flicker - Andy Waite

Are you someone who has a very strict process when it comes to creating?

I’m strict with myself in that I am dedicated to what I do, to the point of distraction. It’s a sort of necessary obsession, something I feel compelled to do as often as I can. In terms of the actual work I have fairly loose ideas. With the art being largely landscape based I may have a starting point of going out and taking some photographs or making some quick on the spot sketches but it really comes down to absorbing that feeling of being out there in nature, whether it’s up in the hills or by the sea. I bring a lot of that back and then in the studio I may end up with something completely different to the idea I had in my head but I am fine with that. I treat everything as an ongoing experiment and sometimes it works, sometimes not, which is something I’ve learned to accept.

I’m continually interpreting my notes, whether they’re in the form of memories, sketches, or photographs, but with not too firm an idea of what I’m going to end up with. That’s what keeps it fresh and exciting for me; if I knew how a painting was going to end up when I started there would almost be no point. With oil paint you can go back and change things but there are also instances where work has to be abandoned completely and started again from scratch. So I go in with no real expectations and enjoy the ride, as it were. The journey.

What is your setup like? Can you describe your studio to us?

I’m fortunate enough to live in a good sized Georgian house in Arundel and my studio is in an upstairs room that would have been the sitting room or, fittingly, the drawing room. It’s quite a large room with good light, I know conventional wisdom says that north facing light is best for artists but this is south facing and has always served me well simply because there’s a lot of it, coming from a large bay window. In a room opposite I do all my preparatory work like priming canvases. The studio is quite chaotic with many half-finished paintings in progress.


I like to work on many paintings at a time; the nature of them being that it can take around a week for a layer to dry and each painting has five or six layers so I can have around ten paintings on the go at any one time to allow them to dry while I’m still working on others. While a layer is drying I’ll often move a piece into another room so that I don’t see it for a few days, meaning I can come back to it with a fresh eye. Being an artist is necessarily a messy business, so we tidy up for the Gallery Trail open house and the Christmas show. The splattered paint all over the walls is painted out and exhibitions are set up. Having done doing this since 1989 we’ve become quite adept at the process and it ends up looking somewhere between a home and a gallery. The Gallery Trail takes place over 10 days at the end of August and takes us a couple of weeks to set up on two floors, although unfortunately not this year of course with the COVID-19 situation.
Down Above The Sky Up Beneath the Sea - Andy Waite
Above The Sky Up Beneath The Sea - Andy Waite
How has COVID-19 and the lockdown situation affected you creatively? Of course there is less to do practically in terms of shows but what about the creative mindset and getting things done?

There was a period at the beginning of the year when I didn’t really want to do a great deal. Everything seemed to grind to a halt and I did the same to a degree. I ended up spending quite a lot of time in the garden looking at and enjoying small things. A couple of paintings came out of it, and unusually for me I painted these wonderful roses we had at the time. I also did a fair amount of writing as well, so the creative mindset didn’t leave me entirely. Usually I think I’m so full on with the painting that nothing really gets in the way but taking some time to relax helped me to focus on other things. With none of the usual events on, there was a point after lockdown when I decided I couldn’t bear to not put on the Gallery Trail exhibition and so set up the show as we normally would, only independently and inviting just the people on my mailing list. All the usual precautions of distancing and sanitising were followed, of course. There was a small response but it was nothing like the festival crowd we would usually expect of around two to three thousand people. A real shame that it didn’t happen this year. I know it’s kind of a strange thing to invite thousands of people into your home for ten days on the trot but it’s something we’ve become so used to doing; it’s quite nice to be able to show the public what I’ve been working on and while I’m not hugely outgoing, and so concentrated on my work, the Trail allows me to come out of my shell for a while.

The Light Is Moving Through Us - Andy Waite
The Light is Moving Through Us - Andy Waite
Do you have any artistic influences, historical or contemporary, whose work you admire and draw from?

My work sometimes gets compared to Turner. I think once you start painting any kind of big skies in any freer, looser way that comparison inevitably comes up which is flattering because of course he was a fantastic artist. Others which have different subject matter but whose work inspires me would be the likes of Matisse and Gauguin. Of course they painted figures but maybe the connection I feel is something to do with the freedom and the colours. Howard Hodgkin was fantastic. I very much admire the colours he used and how he painted feelings through abstraction; he would probably be my number one in terms of more contemporary artists. I try not to look at too much other art because it can be a distraction and it’s best to follow one’s own path and process.

You have a book out, can you tell us about it?

I do – I’ve produced three of them over the years, all self-published. They’re partly a record for myself but also to be able to offer something affordable at exhibitions. It’s not a record of everything but I include paintings that I particularly like. I’m an occasional writer of poetry too, so some of these are included. While the poems are not strictly about landscape they are about my feelings so it’s quite fitting that they are in there. I find myself using very much the same process in my writing as I do with painting, there’s a lot of adding and subtracting, taking things away, seeing what works and watching it evolve in front of me.
The books are available at my shows and occasionally in galleries, and will soon be available on my new website along with my paintings.


Obviously some of your work will be displayed along with this interview, but where else can our readers get a good look?

There’s always the website, There’s @andywaitepaintings on Instagram, and I work with several galleries, predominantly in the South, which are listed on my website and which people will hopefully be able to visit again soon.


I feel in a hugely privileged position to have been able to make art my living although it’s an inconsistent source of income; some years are great and some not so good but over the years we have survived. To this day the fact that people are willing to pay not insubstantial amounts of money for something I’ve produced really moves me. I’m incredibly grateful to the people who have put me in this position.


Considering where this will be published it would be a waste not to ask you what impression you have of LaserMark from your dealings with them?

With the pieces I’ve been producing recently there hasn’t been a need for framing but I have used LaserMark previously; I know that they do great work, and certainly have for myself.


Andy, thank you so much for your time.

Thank you!



All photographs were beautifully taken by Jonathan Wilson

Andy Waite - Eternity & the Breath of Sparrows
Eternity & the Breath of Sparrows £28 inc P&P
For the Passing of Days - Andy Waite
For The Passing Of Days - Andy Waite
Alex Norris
Alex Norris

Interview performed and written by Alex

Follow @andywaitepaintings on Instagram

Did you enjoy reading this? Please share


Karen Halsey: Illustrator

Karen is an extremely talented local artist and a valued long-term customer of Lasermark. We decided to get to know her a little better and share that with you. Greetings and pleasantries taken care of, the questions started:

What is your background in art, do you have any formal training?

I attended the West Surrey School of Art, then studied graphics with illustration at Epsom College of Art and Design. I went into graphics as a career and after many years in the industry decided to devote more time to doing what I love!


What is your process when it comes to producing a piece? 
The first thing is finding a view or an angle that really catches my eye. I like to have an interesting object or shape in the foreground and then all my pieces are based on photographs which I take myself. If I’m doing a commission I’ll talk through this with the client, find an angle that captures what they want and that compliments my style.


What about day to day, do you have a routine when it comes to creating?

I try to keep to a routine where possible. We all know how difficult it can be though, especially recently. A great deal of my time is spent caring for my daughter who has severe autism and as such requires a lot of attention. She is obviously my priority but I do have my own space for my art and I try to fit in an hour and a half to two hours a day, sometimes more if I’m working to a deadline.

Karen Halsey - Illustrator
Karen Halsey - Artist at work

Your preferred medium is a nib pen, and the results are amazing. Is there a particular reason that you chose this style, and have you experimented with other mediums or tools?

I really like to make the most of dark spaces and shadows in my work; I’ve found that the nib pen offers a great deal of freedom of movement and is perfect for these elements especially. I have used fineliners in the past it didn’t feel as free having to crosshatch and so on.

A lot of your pieces are based on sights and scenes near where you live – what came first, the art or the setting? Did you decide one day “I live in a beautiful part of the world; I need to immortalise it in my art?” Or did you, as an aspiring artist, decide to move somewhere which provided inspiration?

From a young age I’ve drawn, it’s always been a way of switching off and relaxing for me. I happened to be very lucky living in such a gorgeous place but if you look for them you can spot beautiful views and scenes anywhere. I remember being away with my parents on the Isles of Scilly as a young girl and finding things to draw, and I still do the same to this day when travelling – I’m going to Cornwall soon and I’m excited to get creative.


Do you think one day you may relocate for your art?

That would be lovely, all things permitting. Obviously, I don’t want to uproot my daughter unnecessarily or cause any disruption for her, but if we could find the right place then fantastic!

One piece which jumped out at me whilst looking through your collection was a commission of a dog. Do you regularly take commissions and what are your favourite things you’ve done on request?

I tend to do one or two commissions a year, usually, a particular scene that someone loves. I’ve done some stunning houses but the dog does stand out, mainly because I don’t draw animals as a rule. The owner would not take no for an answer, though, and he did seem pleased with the result!

What size are most of your pieces and roughly how long would an average one take?

The majority would fit on a sheet of A4 paper, purely for reasons of practicality – they don’t take too long and they’re easy to scan. I would say an average piece takes between 12 and 24 hours of work – not in one sitting of course. I think the biggest piece I’ve done took around 45 hours.


Do you have any artistic influences, historical or contemporary, whose work you admire and draw from?

There are a lot of artists, past and present, whose work I love and admire but in terms of my work, I wouldn’t say I draw from anyone in particular. I think my style is closely aligned with classical children’s illustrators and also etchings – something which I have a passion for and would love to dedicate more time to.


Where can we see your work?

Currently, the best place is Instagram – @Karenhalseyillustration – beyond that I love to exhibit but the world being as it is currently we’re all unsure when that will happen next. I’m a member of Arundel, Arun, and Downland Art Societies and I would encourage everyone to stay up to date with their local Art Society so as to help support the industry in this new post-COVID world. I also produce my own cards featuring my illustrations – I was selling them in a farm shop which has unfortunately closed recently, but watch this space and perhaps you’ll be able to buy them elsewhere soon – maybe an online store?


Considering where this will be published it would be remiss of me to not ask- why do you use Lasermark for your framing?

Because I think they do a brilliant job. It’s that simple, they are great at what they do.


Karen, you’ve been great – thank you for your time.

Thank you!


Interview performed & written by Alex Norris

Alex Norris
Alex Norris

Interview performed and written by Alex

Follow Karen Halsey on Instagram

Did you enjoy reading this? Please share