When you’re smiling
There’s humour galore in Yvonne Hutchcraft’s
cameos of Folkestone life
Yvonne’s studio is a miracle of space organisation in one corner of her lounge in her flat in the centre of Folkestone.
She has been here for six years and thoroughly enjoys it. “I love to be near the sea and just 10 minutes from the countryside without sitting in traffic wherever you go. And I’m right in the middle of the Creative Quarter with all the local coffee shops and bars and there is always something going on.”
Yvonne spent many years in Wales, where she was encouraged to paint by a friend, initially enrolling onto a full-time course as a mature student, which she loved as she was able to experiment with all mediums.
Adamant about the usefulness of formal art training, as “you pick up techniques and see how different people tackle things,” for her own part, she was often told she worked tongue in cheek,
as she always liked to see the humour in things.
This is very evident in the canvases on show in her studio, which she describes as naive, while others have called it Lowry-esque. Her own art heroes are Toulouse Lautrec and the fantastic Joseph Wright of Derby, whose use of light was exemplary.
Yvonne starts her canvases with a background scene and then builds up with the figures and the theme of the work. “Sometimes I look at a canvas for days and then suddenly something clicks. I love humour and colour.”
She has completed many commissions, which include personalised birthday cards for people, as well as wedding memorabilia. “People tend to like the paintings with little people”.
Yvonne paints mainly on canvas, because of the ease of stacking and also that they are lightweight – both highly practical considerations. She adds: “I use acrylic as it dries so fast, which is essential when working in such a small space.
“I must admit I used to like oil more, because of the smell and the way the paint moved around the canvas, but I have to be more practical nowadays. With both mediums you can change your mind and paint over things, which is not possible with watercolour.”
How does Yvonne go about choosing her subjects? “I often paint local scenes which can be recognisable. I put in my own characters and include son-in-law Steve as a muse. It started as a joke, but people do look for him now. I also get commissions and my clients often get included in the pictures.
“I like to paint what amuses me and I paint for my own
“I love humour and colour and have never taken myself very seriously”