Interview with Lindy Michie

Article by Michelle Heslop. Photos by Jody Beck.

You come from a line of distinguished artists — your grandmother, Anne Redpath, was one of the great Scottish artists of the twentieth century and your father was a sculptor and abstract painter. When did your fascination with painting start? Growing up, I was always surrounded by art because my father painted all the time. We were encouraged to talk about his new paintings which would appear on a regular basis from his studio in the cellar of our Queen Anne house in the south of England. Because of this, I had strong opinions from an early age about what I thought worked in a painting and what didn’t.

In my 20’s and 30’s, I was busy working and eventually raising a family and didn’t really give much thought to creative endeavours. When I started painting in my forties, I realized that nothing would ever stop me and it still continues to bring me immense satisfaction and joy.


What gets you into the studio today? How often do you paint? My studio time is somewhat erratic. I go through periods of time when I paint every day. I often work on a number of paintings at the same time and paint them in rotation. They sort of bounce off each other and become a small series. Quite often, when I have completed a series, I will take time off. I used to worry about this, but it is a kind of rhythm which works really well for me. During these breaks, I do a lot of thinking and pondering until the birth of the next series.


Describe your painting mediums and your process. Do you paint from photos? I take photos all the time, especially when I’m travelling. Travelling generates a lot of ideas and the photos help me remember a particular mood, colour or something that made my heart race. I find that it’s impossible to hold onto those feelings without the help of a photo. I work flat with very thin layers and with very liquid paint. I use brushes as little as possible and prefer to use spatulas. The way I work is quite a chaotic process but somehow I muddle through and when I get to the point when I’m satisfied with the result, it’s a very good feeling and I strive for that.


What has influenced your current collection? I have just returned from a visit to Spain and the U.K. The countryside in Devon and Dorset inspires me and I am always drawn to painting a few land and seascapes when I return from that part of the world.

How can people view your work? I’m not presently showing in a gallery but I keep my website updated and welcome people to visit my studio.