Nadia Day is an Impressionist landscape artist based in Teddington near Richmond. She paints views of nature, both local and further afield through seascapes and commissions. Nadia studied art at Kingston University and gained a BA in Drama & Theatre Arts from Birmingham University. She describes herself as a self-taught artist, her path evolving from a career in illustration and advertising visuals to today’s strong, painterly style. We caught up with Nadia to find out more about her journey as an artist.
When did you realise you wanted to become an artist?
I have only been painting full-time for 5 years and I feel my career has exploded and is racing ahead of me! I was life-drawing and en-plein air painting from an early age – encouraged by my artist Dad. He always taught us to paint what we see and celebrate the beauty of nature.
However there wasn’t really the option to become a Fine Artist, as my school was academically pressured, so instead, I veered towards TV design and Advertising. It was during my maternity leave, when one is blessed with the chance to pause and reconsider our choices and career, that I realised I needed to follow my passion and paint landscapes. The appetite I had for painting amazed me – I’d clearly been a frustrated creative for years – and I have been producing and experimenting in abundance ever since.
Can you tell us about your process?
Most of my work is commission based, working with a client to produce a canvas that will fit perfectly in their home. My most popular pieces are large focal canvases for an extension or over a mantle. People want to celebrate the local landscape on their doorstep, or be reminded of a view that they miss. I will recee an area taking photos, or work with client’s photos, finalising the composition on Photoshop.
In terms of my painting process, I always start with the sky and water – striving to capture the raw energy. This is the element of a scene which interests and inspires me the most. Detail and structure is done at a later stage once the greater picture is captured.
Your paintings contain bold, energetic brushstrokes, where and how did you develop this style?
I am a very impatient individual and in my greed to capture the energy of a landscape I use large flat brushes to achieve it! I also use a trusty old pallet knife I have had since art school. My knife has a magic way of soaring the paint across my canvas, picking out highlights on the water or the fluorescent glow on the back of a deer’s back. I’d be lost without it!
What are the concepts at the heart of your work?
The beauty of the great British countryside for sure. I find solace walking in my local parks – Richmond and Bushy park – so these views feature in a lot of my work. I long for stretches of landscape where I feel removed from bustling town life. The open beaches of Rye in Kent are a popular subject for me too. I like to portray the atmosphere that the great outdoors can give us, whether that be calmness or wildness!
If you could own any artwork from any artist, past or present, what would it be and why?
I spent my childhood visiting galleries and seeing the techniques of the Great Impressionists. However now I prefer to follow current day British artists who are capturing the landscape en plein air, such as Jonathan Pocock, Peter Brown and Melissa Scott-Miller. I would love to own one of their British landscapes, for example Peter’s ‘Blackshore Southwold with Canada Geese’ the way he’s caught the light on the puddles is sensational