24/ Conversations With Friends - Lisa and David Hardy
In this very special edition of Conversations with Friends we get to take a peek into the life and work of Partnership Edition artists, and husband and wife duo, Lisa and David Hardy.
Here, our favourite creative couple look back at their college years, where they first met, sharing the advice they would give to their ‘young art school selves’. They also give us a look at their daily work routines, as well as what keeps them inspired.
We hope you enjoy this fresh and intimate insight into their gorgeous home and studio surrounded by the peaceful West Welsh countryside, as well as this unique look into latest collections 'Hyacinth Series II' and ‘Grey Days'.
Lisa - Ok, so what’s it like to work alongside your wife?!
David - I can’t remember a time when we didn’t. We’ve had a close working relationship since we met at Winchester School of Art in 1995. It just seems so natural after all these years. I’m sure it would make for amusing viewing, you know one of those looks, a certain tone of voice or just stone cold silence.
Lisa - Haha, maybe the less said about that the better. How about, describing your daily routine?
David - I normally wake around 6-6.30. Depending on the time of year, I might go and collect wood, start a fire, make some coffee, catch up on social media and then go into the studio to either paint or frame some work. I don’t often work all day and weather permitting I’ll either go for a ride or spend some time in the garden.
It’s equally as important for me to get out and explore on my motorcycle as it is to be in the studio. I may return to the studio later depending on how it’s gone earlier in the day. More than often I have a nap in the afternoons, with our cat Olive, which works well as that’s when you get going in the studio.
In the summer there is no better place than the shepherd's hut, it’s complete and utter bliss and total time out. Just the birds singing and the warm sun streaming through the curtains.
Lisa - God, I can’t wait for warmer days. So… your work is often described as powerful and moving, is that how you view your work?
David - I guess so? I love that my work is able to evoke such a range of emotions. Some works I see as being silent, intimate, quiet pieces that offer the viewer an opportunity to connect and contemplate. Whereas others have more energy and movement. I like that the viewer is able to bring their own interpretation to the pieces.
Night Draws In by D.H
In a Landscape by D.H
Lisa - How do you know when a work is finished?
David - Completion for me is purely intuitive. As there are no logical meanings or definitions behind the paintings, I try not to put too much pressure on myself. Personally, when my art has reached a point where all of the formal qualities have been satisfied – then I am finished.
Wild Winds by D.H
Lisa - Where do you find inspiration from in your daily life?
David - Anything visual - films, music, photography, magazines, architecture but mainly nature and the landscape where we live.
Lisa - What advice would you give your young art school self?
David - Don’t hold on to your dreams so hard you crush them, and be open and prepared to take a path that you least expect. Often this path is the correct one for you at that time. Only now am I starting to believe in the kind of artist I turned out to be and this is the result of all the different routes I’ve taken in life. For so long I had a fixed idea of the artist I wanted to be and it wasn’t me.
Grey Days I by D.H
Lisa - What question would you like me to have asked?!
David - That’s easy! What was the first record you bought? The Damned, Smash it Up on 7” red vinyl.
David - How would you describe your day?
Lisa - I’m rather a late starter. I’d love to be an early bird but find it too painful! It’s the same when we’re painting, you crack on first thing and I ease into the day and paint later in the afternoon. I think it works really well, as we’re not in each others space at the same time.
One day you’ll be working on a commission and I’ll be painting some enamel jugs for Edit58 or doing some photography. Then there’s packing up artwork. I’m always surprised at how much time this takes. I love your idea of me doing a Ted talk on packing materials, I’d nail it! Haha… it's a necessary part of what we do but we seem to be constantly surrounded by boxes!
I’m so pleased we’ve finally moved into our new studio, at last we can get a bit more organised. I love that there’s so much more light, it's more spacious and we don’t have to constantly duck under the beams and risk knocking ourselves out. I can’t wait until we can have the doors wide open in the summer, it's going to be amazing.
David - Ok so I’ll ask you, how do you know when a work is finished?
Lisa - It’s a constant balance between action and inaction. Sometimes it just clicks and you know if you were to put one more mark down it’ll be ruined, having said that sometimes you have to run the risk of failure to get something new and exciting…so gut feeling really.
Works on Paper by L.H
Bells by L.H
David - And where do you find inspiration?
Lisa - I’ve always been inspired by nature, flowers, and the landscape. Now we live in Wales its amazing to be immersed in the landscape rather than having to visit it. Our garden is a big inspiration and influences me and my work.
As you know I love my daily walks around our garden and love to see the changes happening with every season. It gives me great joy to see the first shoots appearing in Spring. I also love the mini adventures we have on our e-bikes or motorbike - I think we both always come back inspired.
David - As we met at art college, I also have to ask what advice would you give your younger art school self?
Lisa - No one will ask you what degree you got (First Class Honours, since you didn’t ask) so don’t stress. It’ll come. Be patient and keep going. Sometimes the road you take will lead you to different places but that’s ok it makes you a fuller richer person with more experience to draw from.