I’ve painted and sketched since early childhood and my favourite place to be was among the old orchard fruit trees in our garden.
I studied for a degree in Visual Arts & Geography at Lancaster University and worked professionally as an illustrator and graphic designer in studios in London and Dorset. Latterly, I illustrated natural-history information boards which were displayed throughout the county. However, on raising a family, I felt driven to capture my children's likenesses on canvas and began using paint much more frequently.

For several years, I challenged myself by entering Open Art competitions and I have been fortunate to have been selected for a number of these juried exhibitions. The full list is listed on my website here: events:awards but my personal highlights are: Winning the New Forest Open Art Competition in 2015 with 'Eyeworth Pond' (watch on youtube here) and being one of only 50 artists to be shortlisted for Artists & Illustrators Magazine's 'Artist of the Year 2017' Competition at the Mall Galleries, London. It fulfilled an ambition to have a painting selected for this prestigious gallery and was especially poignant for me as my entry was a painting of those old fruit trees in my former childhood garden.

Since then, I've taken the decision not to have framed paintings in exhibitions as my only goal, and I continue to explore the theme of wildflowers using impasto paint applied with a painting knife. I'm currently creating art for the sheer enjoyment of the process and to see where each painting will lead me! I typically start by washing layers of acrylic paint over the painting surface, and then sculpt thick, buttery, heavy-body paint over the top to describe the flowerheads. Stalks are scratched through to reveal the layers underneath. For me, painting is as much about the qualities, behaviour and manipulation of the paint (colour, texture, layers) as it is about capturing or describing the subject.

Over time I wanted to see how these textural paintings would look in print, and so my floral and coastal images have been printed onto fabric and are available as super-soft cushions at the beautiful seventeenth century gallery and artisan gift shop Seasons Green, Corfe Castle, Dorset. They also have a selection of my framed miniature wildflower paintings and larger original paintings.
I'm happy to say that my Dorset Wildflower and Coastal cards are at the following Dorset National Trust shops: Corfe Castle, Studland Knoll Beach and Kingston Lacy. The cards have recycled envelopes and bio-degradable (potato starch) cellulose sleeves and the images are inspired by the wayside flowers and coast close to my Dorset home.

I've recently opened my first Etsy UK shop which means I'm now open for business 24/7!
It's AndreaHookArt.etsy.com and you are most welcome to visit.
It's a work in progress and I plan to add more things over time.

Finally, I occasionally have a stall in Wimborne, Dorset with 'Handmade Wimborne' and the 'Dorset Etsy Team'. I'll have a selection of cushions, cards, original artwork and prints (including my brand new Scarves in Silk Sensation and Paris Chiffon fabrics and my new mini-framed prints) - why not pop in and say hello!
Please see my Blog section for news of upcoming events - hope to see you at an event soon!
Thank you for following my progress thus far :- )

'Like' me on Facebook to see my latest work and news :- )

Best wishes
Dorset Artist - inspired by nature and the beautiful wildflowers & coast of my home county
Oil & acrylic impasto paintings. Floral & coastal designs for fabrics & cards
All images © Andrea Hook

Winner of the New Forest Open Art 2015
Shortlisted for Artists & Illustrators Magazine's Artist of the Year, Mall Galleries Exhibition, 2017