Featured artist

Juliet Lawson

FRSA, PVPUA, AFAS

Juliet is an artist and singer / songwriter who grew up in Bedfordshire, but lived until 7 years ago in London. She spent 2 years at Wimbledon College of Art in the early 1970's before joining the Royal Court Theatre in London as a Student Stage Manager and worked as prop collector, line prompter, dresser and assistant to the designer. In her spare time she sang in her cousin's rock band. Juliet began writing songs and was offered a recording contract with Island Records.

Juliet's art was at this time playing second string, though she did continue to go to Life Class. Later she rediscovered her joy in pastels and watercolours and produced several hundred drawings over the next 10 years. She now exhibits regularly at the Eagle Gallery in Bedford, and has had two exhibitions at private houses in London, as well as showing at the Eastern Open in Kings Lynn. She has been a member of the FPAA for some time.
» Visit Juliet's website

Interview with Brenda McKetty, February 2014

Brenda: Have you always drawn and painted and do you come from an artistic family?
Juliet: My early school reports state that my artwork showed promise, but my family is not artistic.

Brenda: Did you have formal art training?
Juliet: I spent two years at Wimbledon College of Art in the early 1970's. At that time I was passionate about the theatre and I did a course in theatre design. It included sets and costumes and there was a a large element of carpentry, construction and building. Eventually I acknowledged that I was less practical then I thought and joined the Royal Court Theatre in London as a Student Stage Manager. I worked as prop collector, line prompter, dresser and assistant to the designer.

After work, often in the early hours, I would go to my cousin's basement flat in Pimlico to sing in his rock band.

Brenda: Is that how your music career started?
Juliet: Yes, it started out as just having fun, but then I began writing my own songs. For a short period I became a cult success and was offered a hefty recording contract with Island Records. But in time-honoured music business fashion, events changed and my first album, BOO, was released by EMI. It was, and is, an eccentric piece and whilst attracting some stunning reviews it never raised itself above the commercial pulpit. A second album was recorded but never released. BOO continues to attract attention and was re-released in Japan a few years ago as a curiosity filed under the category Psychedelic Folk.

Brenda: Where did your art feature at this time?
Juliet: My art was definitely playing second string, although I did continue to go to Life Class. I wrote the songs for a children's TV series called Chips Comic, wrote and performed in a musical play about working mothers, 'Flowers from Detroit'. I then recorded my first work for 20 years. 'The One that Got Away'. In 2000 I wrote and performed my one-woman show 'Throw It On The Water' and recorded another CD, 'Where I'm Coming From'.

Brenda: I know you are still on the music scene, but you seem to be quite active on the art side too.
Juliet: I continue to perform at selected gigs, and you can find details on my website www.julietlawson.co.uk. I started painting again when a friend saw a still life on my wall. She commissioned me to do something similar and I rediscovered my joy in pastels and watercolours, working spontaneously to produce several hundred drawings over the next 10 years. I think my work could be called expressionist. I am very fond of Chagall, a dreamy and beautiful storyteller. I use charcoal, pastels and watercolour in a vigorous way, often mixing them on the page. My pen and ink sketches are done very fast, and some people consider them my best work.

I believe that music and art come from the same place - good friends who rarely conflict. The world around me, the everyday, very often the ordinary, are like a pageant to me. The people who warm our lives, they are the ones to write about and to draw. I am grateful that my stint at Wimbledon force-fed the discipline that drawing is the basis of all further art, something that was unfashionable to the extent of non-existent in the late 60's. In other words, learn the rules in order to break them. I dislike labels and have no wish to take an academic approach. Art and music are simply a reflection of our feelings in a given moment.


Mother

Pastel
32cm x 42cm


The Connection

Pen & ink
24cm x 18cm


Helga

Charcoal
62cm x 48cm


Dustfire

Acrylic
34cm x 28cm


I Dreamed I Walked

Acrylic
40cm x 30cm


Chewing The Cud

Watercolour
16cm x 10cm


I Look Out My Window

Watercolour
20cm x 20cm


The Turning Of The Year

Watercolour
24cm x 18cm


Cornucopia: Pink Flamingo

Pastel
42cm x 32cm


Lear's Daughters

Pastel
48cm x 56cm


   
   

 

 

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