"I'm still working full-time and fitting art into my spare hours so there's not much news from me, but lately I've been more introspective about how I want to further develop as an artist.
Thinking about what I want to achieve with my art, I've started working on more realistic portraits and adding texture to digital paintings, and I've been pretty pleased with the new direction."
"Looking back since issue 2 I have been busy exhibiting. In addition to gallery exhibitions I have had some more highlights. I have taken part in a museum group exhibition at the Dutch Museum Maassluis.
Best of all was my nomination (short listed by jury) for the Dutch Portrait Prize.
This resulted in a beautiful exhibition at the wonderful location Slot Zeist, my work was shown in a national Dutch newspaper and I have another exhibition coming up in May/June with nominees of the Dutch Portrait Prize 2017 and 2019. I was also among the 50 nominees by the jury for ‘Painting of the Year’ - a national Dutch contest with another piece of mine.
I am currently also excited about the international collaboration ‘78 Tarot’ in which each tarot card in a deck is created by another artist. I am contributing a card and the deck will be launched this year.
My piece ‘The Outlook’ [right] was nominated for the Dutch Portrait Prize."
"At the moment I am working on a fairly new project of creating my own tarot cards called
Day (TI) Star tarot cards."
I grew up in Cumbria and always loved drawing as a child. I studied design and art at school and then graphic design at college. I then joined the army and drifted away from art for a few years. Now I'm based in the west midlands and live with my fiance Amanda and have 4 children, Isabella 9 who is a type 1 diabetic, Kieran 7, and Liam and Lucy 5 year old twins.
I found my love for art again a couple of years ago and sort of dabble in a bit of everything, mandalas, typography and portraits, using both traditional methods and digital methods.
I created my instagram page @art_by_lepley to get both exposure and advice/ criticism and found a post about submissions to Zanna Magazine issue 3. I submitted a neon mandala and was amazed to be featured in the magazine. For Issue Four I submitted a design for the cover competition suggesting a Magic and Light theme and was delighted to get down to the final three. I had my image published again in Issue Five exploring the emotions artists go through when trying to create work.
At the moment I have taken part in a campaign started by artist Tom Croft where artists are paired up with an NHS frontline worker. The artist then creates a free portrait for said NHS hero. The hashtag is #portraitsfornhsheroes. I have already completed one and am about to start a second. I am very proud to be taking part.
I am also trying to work through the alphabet creating digital images of each letter. I'm up to D so far!
"Despite making collages for many many years it was 2019 when I decided to make them public through opening a website, an Instagram account, participating in several exhibitions and having my work featured in several magazines, like Zanna who supported me from the very beginning, so I'm very thankful for that.
Last year I participated in three exhibitions: in Poland, Holland and here in London. This year I was meant to participate in a exhibition in Colombia which was cancelled due to the Covid and another which just started now in Brighton, at the Conclave Gallery (www conclave-brighton.co.uk ), now just online. Currently I'm also very happy to collaborate with The Print Block ( www.theprintblock.com) in their fundraising initiative to help food banks.
I have few projects and exhibitions planned, however due to current climate I don't know what will happen. All in all, I keep myself very busy.
You can check my Instagram feed to see what I'm up to lately :) "
"Since my last appearance in Issue 3, my creativity has been on the back burner, as I have been focusing more on myself and my mental health, however, I have been soaking up a lot of new inspiration and ideas and these are now starting to come out in a torrent of activity. A lot of things are starting to fall into place so you can expect to see a lot of activity on my end really soon."
What I found was not what I expected. A girl sat in the corner, alone upon a stool. A guitar rested upon her legs, her chestnut hair just tickling its top surface. She strummed it with delicate fingers, and with each pass a beautiful new collection of notes rung out.
My determination instantly melted away, and I listened for some time. Her music washed over me, my ears lapping up every note, my eyes enraptured by the intricate motions her fingers made. Eventually the song came to an end. I felt disappointed, but assumed in a minute she’d begin a new one.
Instead, she looked up at me. Only now did I realise I was staring.
“You’re new here,” she said. Her voice was sweet and soft. For a moment I panicked, before she continued, “The regulars never stop to watch anymore.”
I tried to find words, but they escaped me.
“What’s your name?” she asked.
“Talemmy,” I babbled. I blamed the confusion of using an alias, but deep down I knew it was something else. I pretended to cough. I told myself to focus. “Emmy,” I managed to get out. I felt like I’d achieved a miracle.
“That’s a pretty name. I’m Jessica. Jessica Torrent.”
She made it seem so easy. Talking. I realised I was still staring. I needed to stop staring.
“So where are you from, Emmy?” she asked.
“The Mainland,” I replied without thinking.
“That figures. Your accent says as much.”
“What about you?” I asked. Three words I could manage.
“I’m local. I travel a bit though, bringing my songs to the skyles of the Southern Province.”
“You’re very good.”
The girl blushed, an eye disappearing behind her hair. “Thank you, that means a lot.”
“I mean it. You’re amazing.” Too much. That was too much.
The girl didn’t seem to mind. “You’re too kind. Do you play?”
I shook my head. I’d always wanted to learn an instrument, but my father hadn’t been so enthusiastic. A peasant’s profession, he’d called it.
“I want to, though,” I said.
“Do you want to try?” She held out her guitar.
“No one’s really listening anyway,” she replied.
I was, I thought.