It has long been her desire to see her work gracing the pages of a book – and she is a woman who turns dreams into reality.
She has just fulfilled one long-held ambition, to have a painting in a gallery in St Ives and now she has set her heart on book illustration.
Rebecca, 43, says she is inspired by the likes of Quentin Blake and Shirley Hughes who, like her, both have a very distinctive style and she positively lights up at the thought of having the chance to follow their direction.
“If there is one thing I want to do now it is illustrate a book. I like my work to speak for itself. I don’t want to have to explain what the picture is about I want it to tell the story. It has to be self explanatory and I think that is why I am so attracted to the idea of books – especially children’s books.”
Five years ago the Ilkeston mum-of-four was on the verge of giving up the idea of being a professional artist.
She had been a mature student studying Illustration at Derby University and after graduating started out making papier maché figures which she hoped would be used for illustrative purposes in campaigns and advertising posters. But eventually she had to concede it wasn’t going to be a viable way of earning a living.
“I went back to university with the idea of becoming a nurse so that I could have a career. But it wasn’t me; I just wanted to paint and I gave up the course half way through.”
She decided to give her art a second chance and painted her first bird’s-eye street scene of Derby turning her detailed little figures 2D instead of 3D.
She entered it in the Derby Open in 2009 and the painting was snapped up at the exhibition. Not only that she was commissioned to do another and another and another.
“It started from there really and ever since I have been working on commissions. It really has been quite exciting and I love every minute of what I do.
“I enjoy allowing people to see places they know in a new light. There is always something interesting and different going on in a street and people just fascinate me.”
First she draws the scene, paints over with watercolours and then adds the fine detail in ink. The pictures are a mixture of real and imagined. She laughs as she recalls that people have been known to contact her to tell her she’s got it wrong – especially if she draws cars travelling the wrong way up a one-way street.
Rebecca’s trademark paintings can be seen in galleries across the county including Studio 61 at Holloway and Cromford Gallery. She is a regular exhibitor at art trails in the county and has recently been included in the Association of British Naïve Artists’ Group Exhibition in St Ives.
You can see her work at the Sir Richard Morris Lounge in the Cathedral Centre, Derby from November 1-30, or visit http://www.rebeccamorledge.co.uk