Today, I want you to meet my very talented sister, Angela (Corkery) Bickley. She has done the most beautiful illustrations of flower fairies for my new book, ‘A Posy of Wild Flowers’.
1. When did you realise you had a talent for drawing?
When I was at school.
2. Was it always your dream to be an artist?
That and a ballerina!
3. What training did you get to help hone your skills as an artist?
I had a very good art teacher at school who inspired me. With her guidance I got my ‘O’ level and ‘A’ level in art. I then went and did a foundation course at Portsmouth College of Art. At the end of that it was a toss up between sculpture and graphics. I decided on sculpture, though I spent a lot of time with the graphics students. I didn’t consider painting as I was told I had a weird sense of colour.
4. How have you used your artistic skills in the different communities you have found yourself in?
As well as drawing, I worked in a pottery while I was at school and along with other craft skills I taught Art and Crafts in West Cork, while I was bringing up a young family. I also started painting at that time. My husband’s job took him to England and we had to move there in 1983. I got a job in a pottery on the Isle of Wight. From there I got a job teaching art at the Presentation Convent. In 1988 I gave that up to train as a nurse. I loved this job but missed my art, so I started teaching figurative sculpture and ceramics at adult evening classes whilst still nursing.
5. It is said it is hard to make a living from art. What is your answer to that?
It’s incredibly hard to make a living as an artist. People generally don’t realize how much time and effort goes into it.
6. Have you enjoyed working on this project with your sister?
Yes, of course 🙂
7. Your husband, Jon Bickley is a sculptor. Tell us a bit about his work.
I was at college with Jon, we were both on the same sculpture course. He always preferred sculpting animals, whereas I preferred people. He has a workshop at home where He works daily making and casting sculptures.
8. You will be selling cards of the flower fairies for this book. Have you any future plans for doing other cards etc?
Yes I hope to go on to produce more work which can be made into cards and prints.