A profile of Natalie Mills including her recent month-long residency in India. Natalie graduated from The Byam Shaw School of Art in London with a BA Honours in Fine Art in 1998. After many successful years in sales & marketing Natalie always knew that there was something missing in her life; painting.
She'd simply had enough of the corporate world and started working as a volunteer between 2012-2015 in a creative role at Recover Team in WGC; up-cycling furniture and mentoring people with mental health & addiction problems. This opened Natalie’s eyes to how powerful the Arts can be for people in all sorts of recovery and general well-being. It was a liberating experience, one that encouraged her to start painting again.
Now a full-time Artist, she has exhibited in various Group Shows in London and Hertfordshire. Natalie recently secured gallery representation from Caiger Contemporary Art and recently undertook a 1 month residency in India with International Arts Trust Palette People. On her return from India she will be giving workshops in 'Abstract and Emotional Painting' at The Artshed in Ware.
Natalie is an Abstract Artist. Her work documents a very personal journey, a therapeutic re-connection with art. As she has progressed creatively she has become freer, worrying less, and learning to look at things differently; a mirror to her life in general.
Her works are spontaneous & random, whilst freeing the mind in the process. About paint movement and the unknown. Almost 'Accidental' with little control. About investigation and behaviours. About self-exploration & self-development. Her use of vibrant colours communicate energy & radiate hope & fearlessness.
Her recent trip to India has inspired her further and allowed her to totally immerse herself in her work. She had a large studio in the mountains of Vagamon, Kerala.
“I am using a limited palette of greens, yellows and reds on white or black backgrounds, inspired by the Keralan landscape. The weather is so changeable throughout the day and night. There is a mix of bright and hazy sunshine, white mist, torrential rain and beautiful sunsets. I’m never up early enough to see the sunrises!!! Not that you can see much in the mornings with all the mist around. Sometimes you cannot even see a meter in front of you. With the changing light and atmosphere throughout the day brings many different variations of colour and shade, as well as a mix of emotions. The whole environment; the landscape, the people, the weather, the studio space, the food. Just about everything is inspiring me.”
She also worked with children in the local community while she was there.
“I travelled to a small city called Thodupuha to provide an arts and crafts workshop for under-privileged girls at a Care Home run completely by Nuns (who do a fantastic job). I was the first foreigner to ever go there and so obviously the girls were a little shy at first and some looked a little worried. I wanted to do a simple workshop where they could be creative, have fun and have some escape from their everyday hardship.
I chose to do a Mask-Making workshop to promote Freedom and Self-Confidence. By making and wearing the masks the girls had an opportunity to become whatever character they wanted want for a while and at the same time having fun and feeling free.
As you can see from the pictures they had loads fun. They were beautiful girls in many ways and their strength of character was inspiring. They also gave me a much needed boost after receiving such sad news recently of my Auntie passing away. Overall we were a huge help to each other. It was a great day.”
You can see Natalie’s art work, as well as the pieces she completed in India at www.millsyart.co.uk. Also follow her on Facebook at ‘Millsy Art’.