Lottie Cole

As someone who is passionate about art and interior design, when I stumbled upon Lottie’s beautifully interior paintings I just fell in love. Her paintings come to life with intriguing personal details, eclectic rooms and sumptuous colour palettes. In the first of my ‘In Conversation’ series, I find out more about Lottie’s work, inspiration and creative process.

How long have you been painting and what draws you to interior scenes?

I’ve been painting as long as I can remember, but full time since 2017.  I like the way an interior tells you so much about the person to whom it belongs.  But I’m just working on a few pictures with people in them….which is quite an adventure/departure for me.  I’m not sure if they’ll make my solo show next April but who knows!

What is your inspiration for these intricately detailed and decorative scenes? I’d love to know about your creative process.

I think it comes from how you can imagine yourself anew in a fresh interior. I’m a bit of a daydreamer about alternative versions of my life.  I do love old magazines and interiors books.I am also a surfer of property websites. It’s great to see how real people have laid out their rooms.  So sometimes if I see an arrangement I like I keep the image and then use that as a starting point.  

There’s a unique depth to your compositions; tell me how you manage to draw the viewer into your pieces.

I like to imagine myself walking straight in to the room, and normally plonking myself down and taking a deep breath.   I hope that if I can imagine that then it’s also something the viewer can do too.  It’s trying to capture that moment of peace you sometimes get in a busy house when everyone’s out and you have 10 minutes of calm before life bursts back in. 

I love that a lot of your paintings include paintings within them; are these fictional works of art or do you use a reference? 

It’s a mix.  I try to include the paintings of women artists who I feel should be better known and who I find inspiring like Jessica Dismorr, Helen Saunders, and sometimes furniture like Eileen Gray.  Sometimes I create a painting of my own.  I’m working on a painting in which I’ve included a painting of my daughter reading. Though the painting is actually an imagined interior of an Irish Artist and the painting is of her granddaughter……..are you keeping up?!  It’s a bit of a confection!!

Flowers are quite prominent in your work; aside from being a staple of still life scenes, do you have a particular interest or enjoyment in flowers as a subject?

I have recently tried my hand at growing my own cut flowers.  Year 1 has been dedicated to discovering what the deer and the rabbits don’t eat.  I have 3 raised beds and so far the slugs have also been kept at bay so I had quite a good harvest of Dahlias.  It’s amazing how much more I feel I see in the flowers since I’ve seen them grow from seedling to blooming.  But aside from the pleasure of growing I’ve always loved the symbolism of flowers which means they can add an additional level of meaning to a painting.  

Which artists have had the biggest influence on your work?

I really love all the Mid Century Modern British Artists.  I love the work of Vuillard, the Dutch Old Masters & Matisse!  But basically I’ve always been obsessed by paintings and being a painter. So there really isn’t a painter I’m not interested in taking a good look at.   

How do you typically exhibit your work?

I’m represented by Long & Ryle Gallery in London and so  primarily show through them.  I’m also an Associate Artists of the Royal Watercolour Society so I show at their quarterly exhibitions and I regularly enter open competitions. As though it’s a lottery, when you get in, it does make your heart sing a bit (but not so good when you don’t!)

You clearly have an eye for beautiful, timeless interior design. Does your interest in styling interiors extend to other areas of your life?

I am a bit of an interiors obsessive.  I have every issue of World of Interiors going back to the start. I do love an ebay find or the thrill of the chase at an auction.  I prefer things that have already had a bit of a life.   

Lottie’s work can be found on her website and instagram and look out for her next exhibition.