From her trademark busy blooms to vivid cityscapes to roiling seas and skies, Alce Harfield’s paintings fizz with energy, and offer a gloriously colour-saturated view of the world.
She says she had little choice about becoming an artist. “It was in my genes with my mum being Head of Art and my dad being a professional photographer!” she exclaims.
Following guidance from her parents, Alce completed a degree in Commercial Interior Design at Leicester poly “in order to get a ‘proper ‘job.’” However, during her finals, Alce started painting professionally, and that changed everything.
“I realised that was what I’d always wanted to do, then after two years working as an Interior Designer in Bristol, I took the plunge following redundancy and opened my first shop.”
Two years after launching The Silly Fish Shop in Bristol. Alce opened a second shop in Bath and went from strength to strength “selling my paintings and three dimensional plaster wall hangings.”
It seems that even, or perhaps especially, on the greyest British days, we’re drawn to seek out colour and light, and Alce’s creations meet that need perfectly.
The vibrancy of Alce’s artwork comes naturally. “I’m a happy person, so colour was always going to be my thing,” she says. “It gives me massive pleasure to use colour so I thought my customers might feel the same way too!”
It’s clear that they do as a whole page of Alce’s website is dedicated to ‘satisfied customers’, proving that happiness can be contagious!
It’s also evident simply through gazing at Alce’s paintings that they’re immensely cheerful things to be around, with splashes of scarlet, green and blue offering plenty of levity.
“I keep a scrapbook of photos and cuttings, plus sketches of everything that inspires me, from a beautiful landscapes to a colour combination,” Alce says of her working methods. “That is my inspirational bible – crucial if I’m having a blank moment!”
Her early training, as well as the examples set by her parents, taught Alce the importance of a good work method too. “I’ve always been hard working,” she comments. “My dad was self employed all his life and I’ve learnt his values of hard work equalling success. Plus, who wouldn’t want to splash paint on a canvas all day? It’s the best job in the world!”
Alce’s verve for life is enviable, and shines through in each canvas she covers. How could you not want a piece of that in your home?
There’s plenty to enjoy about being an artist, she says. “I set my own rules (it helps that I’m a control freak and incredibly driven). I can take time off for my kids when I need to and I can also work late as my studio is in the garden. I’m in complete control of my life and if I fail it’s my fault, but if I succeed it’s also down to me! That’s very empowering.”
Alce’s overflowing energy serves her in more practical ways too, as she travels the UK from Edinburgh to Windsor, and Manchester to Dartmouth, selling her work at art fairs and other shows, “including 25 years of trading at Glastonbury Festival!” She also has a stall at The Tobacco Factory market in Bristol during the winter months “when there aren’t so many shows.”
For further information and to see more of Alce’s paintings, visit www.alceharfield.com.
Know an artist you’d like to see showcased on SkyLightRain.com? Give me a shout at judy(at)socketcreative.com.