About Me

I am an artist…

I have loved drawing, painting, colouring in and cutting and sticking for as long as I can remember. It has taken my whole lifetime to accept this and now I’m finally able to declare it, proud to do what I love and give it a title!

ARTIST.

Mandi Baykaa-Murray, Artist, painting

Mandi, painting a Siberian Eagle Owl

For a while I called myself a photographer, but I realise now, that was being an artist too – just making beautiful pictures using a camera rather than paintbrushes. It’s all the same really.

I don’t feel like I’ve had a career as such – I’ve done all sorts in my life. I have a varied list of qualifications, I even have a Masters degree. Now these are just special pieces of paper stored safely in a folder – not that I would give them back. I worked hard for them and my experiences from them make me who I am today.

watercolours

watercolours

I am from North Somerset, just South of Bristol in the UK. I was born in London, grew up in Cornwall and now live half way between the two. As a child, I was surrounded by animals and wildlife – back then I took it all for granted. Now it is what inspires me to paint, especially birds of prey, these creatures really make me tick.

 I love to paint and draw them.

Original Watercolour painting of an Indian Eagle Owl by Mandi Baykaa-Murray

Original Watercolour painting of an Indian Eagle Owl by Mandi Baykaa-Murray  

I loved art college with a passion (I studied Fine Art as a ‘mature student’) but struggled with the idea of ‘conceptual art’ and consequently suffered with a fair bit of artist’s block. Printmaking enabled me to discover a working process that offered me unlimited options to experiment where subject didn’t matter – everything I did back then was Abstract.

Eagle Owl painted on a Feather in acrylic by Mandi Baykaa-Muray.

Eagle Owl painted on a Feather in acrylic by Mandi Baykaa-Muray.
 

Then, one day I met a falconer and his birds of prey. From that moment on, my creative calling finally fell into place. I was compelled to paint them and I haven’t looked back. I didn’t have a clue how to paint – it just happened. Turns out I am happiest expressing what I love in my world and not over thinking it.

Mandi Baykaa-Murray with lollipop the kestrel

Mandi Baykaa-Murray with Lollipop the Kestrel

 I enjoy every minute spent with the birds and my paints, it is escapism to the enth degree – an indulgence that is both satisfying and necessary for my sanity.

Food for my soul.

Lemmings Beware! by Mandi Baykaa-Murray

Lemmings beware!

Spending time with the Birds of Prey has inspired so much of my artwork – in particular, my greatest achievement to date, ‘Feathered Friend’. This piece was selected as a finalist in the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of The Year 2014 where it sold during the Exhibition in The Mall Galleries, London. This success gave me recognition and a huge confidence boost to keep doing what I’m doing!

'Feathered Friend'  by Mandi Baykaa-Murray

‘Feathered Friend’ Mandi Baykaa-Murray

At the end of Summer 2015 we had 4 new additions to our family – 2 puppies and 2 kittens. These adorable little pickles have eaten into my painting time, but as they grow up and become less dependent on me, I can gradually become reaquainted with my paints! On the plus side, our daily walks in the countryside have taken me back closer to nature and  provided much inspiration and food for thought about potential paintings.

Monkeys

Our puppies and kittens.

 I love my ‘painting time’ which is carefully planned for when everyone has gone to work & school, when peace and quiet happens – no TV, computer games, or music blaring out – just me, my space and my paintings. (ok, and my ipod playing very quietly in the background!) Time to ‘get in the zone’ and hope for creativity to happen.

Bliss.

(Since life with the puppies, I’ve become ‘semi-nocturnal’ my painting time has to be late-night sessions after bed time with my trusty daylight lamp! Perhaps I’m more like an Owl than I’d care to admit?!)

My new painting space

My new painting space.

I have recently been allowed to use our very tiny spare room as my ‘studio’ which is a luxury I am grateful for, not having to put all my paints away after each session. The down side of this is having so much equipment and portfolios squeezed in with me, there is very little room to move!!

Still, it is ‘my space’ where I can escape from the day to day mayhem of family life.

Watercolours in action

Watercolours in action

Since I started painting, I’ve also discovered Facebook and Instagram, and I’m hooked!! Through these social media I have found a wonderful group of people who understand, inspire, and support me in the most heart warming ways. They share their creativity with me, they encourage me and understand what I love to do, and they even buy my work which is both humbling and exciting every single time it happens…

Thank you 🙂

Now you’ve read all about me, I hope you’ll spend some time looking                           through my website at my paintings and creations…and that you will enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed painting them.

I welcome commissions, both painting and photographic, please feel free to email me for more details – thefeatherlady@mandibaykaa-murray.co.uk