A quote from John Ruskin sums up my thoughts about what I do far better than I ever could – “There is a strong instinct in me, which I cannot analyse, to draw and describe the things I love – not for reputation, nor for the good of others…. but a sort of instinct, like that for eating and drinking” John Ruskin, letter to his father, 2 June 1852.
I want to honour the things I’m painting. They absorb me and, however mundane they may seem, I want to give them an opportunity to speak and be valued – to re-present them. Most things have some sort of personal resonance or connotation. Like smell or sound, they’ll evoke different feelings and memories in each of us.
Painting my local fenland landscape has influenced my still life – it’s flat and unpretentious with everything laid out in front of you. The objects that I paint are ordinary everyday things. Painting them close up and often in multiples, is a way of concentrating directly on them with no distraction – a way of forcing observation as if they were in a museum.
My working method is not immediate – there’s a lot of planning. I use a restricted palette and work on a painting as a whole, gradually building up tone and colour and moving from large washes to more detailed structure until I achieve the sculptural quality that I want.
Goldsmiths College, London, Fine Art
Birmingham University, History of Art and Design
Hon. Member Institute of East Anglian Artists (IEA)
RI Honorary Secretary 2014 -2023
RI Council member 2014 – 2024
Suffolk Cathedral Millennium Project – Project Artist during the building of the tower and vaulted ceiling at St Edmundsbury Cathedral (2000 -2010)
‘Cross’ toured to Ely, Peterborough and Lincoln Cathedrals and to Southwell Minster with Arts Council grants (2005 – 6)
2020 Baohong Artists’ Watercolour Prize, RI
2019 Megan Fitzoliver Brush Award, RI
2019 Escoda Barcelona Award, RI
2017 Dry red Press Award, RI
2010 St Cuthbert’s Paper Mill Prize, RI
2006 Frank Herring Prize, RI
2005 Countryman Prize, RI
2002 St Cuthbert’s Paper Mill Prize, RI
1998 The Laing Exhbition – Regional Prizewinner
Colour demystified by Julie Collins – featured artist ‘The artist’s palette’
Millennium Tower, Lillias August ISBN 0-9550371-1-5
Vaulted Ceiling, Lillias August ISBN 0-9550371-2-2
Mall Galleries RI 2020 – The Baohong Artists’ Watercolour Paper Prize for a Member
Talking beautiful stuff 2019 – blog about Lillias’ work
Making a mark RI 2019 – 2 Awards – Katherine Tyrrell’s blog including a review of Lillias’ work and prize
Making a mark – Sunday Times Competition 2017 – Katherine Tyrrell’s blog including review of Lillias’ bed paintings
Watercolour Artist USA 2012 – featured artist by Ken Gofton
Artists and Illustrators magazine – Special 300th Edition – June 2011 ‘Talking Techniques’
East Anglian Daily Times – December 4th 2010
L’Art de L’Aquarelle – December 2010 (English edition) – featured artist (this article is the copyright of Diverti Editions and is reproduced with kind permission)