We Love: Harlie Briggs
What are you hoping to portray with your work?
I hope to encourage people to see the beauty in nature; even the decaying corners of forests bring new life. In this sense, I believe that we can learn a lot from Mother Nature, about how to live in diverse ecosystems and the practice of sustainability.
When I am feeling stressed or off balance to usual, my nature paintings in particular create a sense of calm and really alleviate my anxious thoughts. I could only hope that my paintings also leave the viewer instilled with positive feelings, calm and relaxed.
What is it about the female form and natural world that inspires you?
Both the female form and the natural world are beautiful in their own way and both tend to resemble the beginning of life, creation and growth. Painting the places I’ve been, as well as the lovely souls that I’ve met fills me with a feelings of content and happiness. I love the concept of healing with the natural things that our world has to offer; with nature, relationships and art.
What's an average day like in your studio?
Every day is always very different. They tend to all depend on whether I have deadlines on, as when I have a deadline on it is very all consuming for me - I am very much an all or nothing person. A typical day involves a dog walk, checking and sending out any online orders, planning new collections, painting, photographing tablescapes or artwork and lots and lots of tea breaks haha.
If you could exhibit your work in any gallery in the world, where would it be?
Oooo, dream big! My favourite museum that I’ve been to, structurally, is the Louisiana Museum Art - it was so beautiful with its big windows and sea side , well kept grounds. So that would be pretty cool! It would also be a dream to exhibit in The Louvre in Paris as it is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world and is home to countless masterpieces, or the Musée de L’Orangerie where Monet’s incredible ‘Water Lilies’ are installed.
Do you listen to any music when you create your art? If so, what Genre and do you have a song to go to?
I have recently been listening to podcasts more, but music definitely gets me in the flow a lot more. It completely depends on my mood but I always reach for Bon Iver, Birdy and Khruangbin on a solemn day or Alt J and some jazz or soul on a brighter day. My go to song is Holocene by Bon Iver or Pusher by Alt J.
Do you have any exciting projects you are working on at the moment?
I absolutely adore watching every corner ‘come back to life’ in Spring. Filling the studio with blooming flowers and greenery bring me a real sense of calm, and a lot of inspiration for new painting collections. I am currently in the studio painting a new nature based art collection for Glassette, the homeware and arts site by Laura Jackson, as I have just sold out all of my paintings on there!
I have also been designing some new shirts and scarves which I am super excited for as we lean into the warmer seasons. Creating sustainable clothing is something that I began a couple of years ago for fun, and I didn’t realise how much I would enjoy it.
My mum, my sister and I started some ceramics lessons last year for fun, but it is quickly growing into a new favourite hobby of mine. It is super cathartic and I love that each piece that you make is totally unique. As my skills grow I’d love to make a small collection of mugs or bowls or maybe even get my own pottery wheel in my studio someday!
If you could give any advice to someone looking to be more creative or get into painting what would it be?
Clear yourself a little space (even if this is your dining table or on the floor in your bedroom, which is where I started) and just paint, paint, paint. Find your style and get some paintings out there first of all! I find that starting with something that is a hobby is a good way to start. Then if you want to take it to the next level, you need to map out how to get there; for me it was turning to supply teaching rather than full time, so that I could have more time to paint if I wanted.