This week we visited The Hotwalls in Old Portsmouth to meet Lizzie Cornelius at her studio in the arches.


What type of artist are you?  Painter

Do you have a background in art/design – when did you first start your creative journey?  I attended an access course in Art & Design at Chichester College in 2001 and didn’t start to paint again until 2006! I photographed seagulls on a groyne on Hayling Beach where my studio was situated and then went on a creative journey through styles until I settled on this current style.

Can you describe your creative process?
I firstly photograph at all different angles the subject matter. If it’s not local then I will google and use maps or other photographic images so I can get a feel of a place, often “walking” through an area with my gold maps “man”. I will then sketch the structure of the painting and then apply thin paint in many layers to build a solid block of colour. Once I am satisfied with this I will then outline in a black oil pen and tidy up any areas that may be missed.’

What or who inspires you? As to what inspires me it can be anything from food, shapes and colours to nature, coastal seascapes, and that of man made buildings. I love visiting new places and galleries in different countries on my travels as this refreshes the eyes and helps you see things differently. I have also previously admired the work of Michael Craig Martin.

What do you enjoy most about the process? I love the conception with the initial sketch and mixing the colours and having the first layer of paint on a fresh canvas which is very loose and isn’t recognisable as my completed work.

 Can you describe your studio/workspace? My workspace is one of the Arches at The Hotwalls part of the cities historic defence against invasion, so there is a huge feeling of a backstory. The walls are covered with concrete so they suck the light out of the space. However it is SE facing so is flooded with the early morning sun when we have it, not always ideal for painting but makes you feel good! It has fantastic acoustics being an Arch. It is very cosy and has a great vista along the “parade” ground with a view of all the other artists studios and a line of beautiful trees.

What keeps you going whilst you work – soundtrack? Snacks? A fluffy assistant? Music, customers popping in for chats and my new assistant Ruby my Graphic Designer. Great for bouncing ideas around.

What can we expect to see from you on this years’ art trail? 
This is my first Emsworth Arts Trail and I am looking forward to producing a body of new originals and prints for the trail.

Where are you exhibiting?  Tuppeny Barn, with a number of artists along with a pop up cafe. 

Why did you want to take part in the trail?There is such a buzz surrounding the Emsworth Arts trail and I wanted to be part of this creative hub. I have just started showing my work in the PO10 Lifestyles & Interiors Shop in the centre of Emsworth and my prints have sold exceptionally well and it seemed a natural step to be able to exhibit here with original paintings. I also love the community of  artists and I hope to increase awareness of my work to a new customer base.  I also enjoy exhibiting in new places alongside other artists.

What are your artistic ambitions?I would love to have a piece chosen to exhibit at the RA Summer Exhibition.To have a huge range of merchandise that would be sold world wide. To enjoy what I produce and pass that onto customers for them to enjoy in their homes wether it is an original, a print or bone china mug. To just keep painting and enjoy creating!

Lizzie Cornelius_2
Lizzie Cornelius at her studio in the arches at The Hotwalls in Old Portsmouth .
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