10 Questions with Harriet Hoult

Posted in In the Studio by George Greenhill on 24th May 2019

Harriet is a London based abstract artist, working with acrylic and mixed media on paper.

Her pieces can be seen as meditations on our relationship with life, drawing influence from both the inner and outer landscape. Exploring themes such as home, boundaries both physical and psychological, a sense of belonging, freedom and beauty, her work aims to take us beyond the intellectual process to an underlying visceral experience.  

We ask Harriet about her concepts, style, sources of inspiration and process. Read on to find out more.


Untitled 1 by Harriet Hoult, 2015


1. The mark making in your painting is so varied - from consciously created cross hatching to serendipitous splashes of paint. Where and how did you develop this style?
I work very instinctively, feeling my way through the process from one mark to the next.  Its like a conversation between myself and the painting, I ask it what the next mark should be and it tells me. My style developed very naturally through working in this way over a number of years. I spent about nine months in Cornwall at one stage and was also very influenced by the St Ives abstract artists.

Stella by Harriet Hoult, 2014

2. Which artists have you been most influenced by? 
I was mentored by the ceramicist Sandy Brown and her teachings had a real influence on my work. I also spent time living and working in Cornwall and was very influenced by the St Ives artists, Terry Frost, David Lanyon and Barbara Hepworth to name a few.  

Harriet in her studio

3. Experimentation is such an important part of an artist process. How often do you challenge yourself by trying new strategies? 
I try to take courses regularly to learn new techniques and open my mind to alternative ways of approaching things. Recently I did a foundation in Atelier style figure drawing at London Fine Art Studios, which is the complete opposite way of working to what I am used too but I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. 

Tregurrian by Harriet Hoult, 2018

4. What concepts are at the heart of your work?
To me, my work is about freedom, freedom of expression as well as beauty and a faith in a creative spirit that works through me - if I get my thinking and judging mind out of the way. I’m exploring the inner and outer landscape in a very instinctive way. Its important to me that I don’t ever plan a piece before I start, I just trust the process as it unfolds. 

In Harriet's studio

5. How has your practice evolved whilst at your current residency?
I think that being so close to the river has begun to influence my work. It’s always there, flowing in and out day by day and is a real presence with which I’ve come to have a relationship with. I’ve noticed my colours and marks become calmer and more kind of subdued as a result. It’s totally subconscious and I can just see it when I look back over the work that I’ve created in the past 10 months I’ve been here. 

Rainville by Harriet Hoult, 2019

6. Artists often find the prospect of starting a new canvas daunting, is this true with you?
For me it's important not to think too much at the beginning or spend too much time looking at the blank canvas. I start by mixing up some watery washes and applying them, these first layers set the direction for the rest of the painting. 
8. If you could own any artwork from any artist, past or present, what would it be and why?
That’s a tricky one as there are so many that I’d love to own, but I think I’d say, Barbara Hepworth. There’s something so mystical to me about her work and it speaks to me in such a soulful way. 

Harriet in her studio

10. Over the next 6 months, will you be involved in any exhibitions where our collectors will be able to see your work?
I had to postpone a solo show in February at One Paved Court gallery in Richmond, which will be coming up again soon, no fixed date as yet. Other than that I have pieces in various galleries in London and throughout the UK. 

Art as therapy? 5 of the best art classes in London

Posted in Art Style Files by Ruth Millington on 14th May 2019

Did you know that art can improve your well-being? Throughout history, artists have used art as a therapeutic outlet for their mental health issues. Today, GPs are prescribing art classes as a means of overcoming anxiety and depression. Whether you want to be more creative, find a new hobby, or make space for mindfulness, an art class could be the answer. Here are 5 of the best art classes in London.



  1. Saturday Life Drawing in Shoreditch

Every Saturday the Royal Drawing School runs a life drawing class. It’s open to all levels, and you can attend during the morning, afternoon or all day. There will be a different model each week with a variety of poses, both long and short. It takes place in the School’s Shoreditch Studios, with a tutor on hand to give you guidance.  



‘Spend your Saturday life drawing at the Royal Drawing School’


  1. Pottery at The Kiln Rooms, Peckham

If you haven’t picked up a piece of clay since school, it won’t matter at The Kiln Rooms. You can take part in a 5-hour taster session or a 4-week beginners’ course where you will learn all the basic techniques, including throwing on a wheel. Bring an apron: it gets messy!



‘Reduce stress through a pottery class in Peckham’


  1. Colour painting at the Royal Academy

The RA’s ‘Colour through acrylic and watercolour’ class takes place over a weekend. It gives you the chance to experiment and express yourself through colour. It concludes with a drinks reception at the gallery – classy!



“The chief aim of colour should be to serve expression” – Henri Matisse


  1. Hampstead Heath photography workshop

Want to up your Instagram game? This one-day workshop allows you to snap nature, wildlife and the spectacular setting of Hampstead Heath. You’ll learn about contrast, tone, texture, and composition. The class includes editing and printing tutorials, so you’ll leave with a print of your work.



“Hampstead Heath is the perfect place for photography”


  1. Printmaking at Heatherley School of Fine Art, Chelsea

Spend your Saturdays learning to print. This 12-week course covers etching, aquatint, drypoint, woodcut, lithography and silk screen. Taught by practising printmakers in a custom-built studio, you’re encouraged to develop your own direction and creative style.



“Print like a pro at Heatherley School”





Ruth Millington is an arts and culture blogger, freelance writer and art historian.

Alexandra Gallagher | Where The Surreal Meets The Bizarre

Posted in In the Studio by Bethan Street on 09th May 2019

Alexandra Gallagher is a British artist whose work celebrates the surreal and the bizarre. Her thought-provoking paintings and collages explore the realms of dream, memory and the imagination. The artist allows her imagination to run in any creative direction resulting in visually appealing works that are evocative of the Surrealists while offering a contemporary take on both the materials and the subject matter. We ask the artist 5 questions about her work and life as an artist.


Blue Birds by Alexandra Gallagher, 2017


Your work explores the realms of dream, memory and imagination. What inspires this?

I think because I work organically with nothing being planned, my work is more towards the surrealist way of working. Like tapping into that space behind the mind. It’s all from my subconscious and I use a lot of symbology. My work isn’t based on the real, on what you can see right in front of you, it’s root concept is on the human mind.

Beyond The Veil of Deception by Alexandra Gallagher, 2018


Can you tell us about your process?

My main tools are found in imagery and photoshop. I use both to create organic sketches to paint or to produce collage prints. I accidentally found this way of working and found that it fits perfectly with the way I think. I’ve found that if I plan and sketch something out in the traditional way, it loses some sort of spark and just doesn’t work. Like it’s all been over thought.


Echoes of Her Mother by Alexandra Gallagher, 2017


What project are you most proud of?

Oh wow, that’s a tough one! I learn so much from each project I do, so they all feel special in some sort of way... and to say I’m proud is always a tricky one for me personally, as I’m probably my worst critique, so I always end up feeling like I could do better. I think though the project I loved the most was the Symphony of the Seas Cruise ship mural project. They were huge and painted onto canvas panels that were then stuck onto the wall of the ship. There was so much gold leaf! I created four murals for the ship in total and I absolutely loved the challenge. I love anything that challenges me and pushes my boundaries as an artist



Flamingo Flowers by Alexandra Gallagher, 2017


If you could collaborate with any artist, past or present, who would it be?

There’s so many! I’ll pretty much collaborate with anyone, to be honest, as again I feel I learn something each time. Jenny Saville is probably one of my most favorite artists and I would love to work with her on a large loose piece. Totally different from how I currently work, but I do actually love painting loosely and expressively.


Freckled Flamingo by Alexandra Gallagher, 2016


What are your ambitions for 2019?

This year my goal has been to create more originals, to push my work further and experiment a little. I also hope to do more murals and learn more about painting at such large scales... mainly how to speed it up!



Browse Alexandra's Work


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