An interview with Lorna Page, published in BS35 magazine

The beauty of South Gloucestershire’s countryside and villages shines from much of Lorna Page’s exquisitely detailed art. She lives on her family’s organic beef farm at Shepperdine and draws her inspiration from the castles, cottages and churches in her local area.

She is often classed as a folk artist for the whimsical village scenes that she creates. “I’m not just that, I do everything, but folk art seems to be what people like most. I think it’s because they can relate to the places, they’ve got a memory there. It’s a recorded history.”

Robin by Lorna Page

A recent painting, Ham Autumn Morning, below, is typical of the attention to detail in Lorna’s work. It was painted for a charity auction and shows the village of Ham, including The Salutation inn and a dozen houses and cottages.

Ham Autumn Morning by Lorna Page

The picture is full of country life; horse riders, a tractor, a gardener, children and dogs. In the distance are pale yellow fields and swallows fly above the scene. Between the houses flowers bloom.

The flowers are important to Lorna, as floristry has long been a big part of her life.

After a childhood holiday staying at a cottage belonging to a florist and watching her work on her flowers, Lorna set her heart on this as a career. She trained locally and at 19, with the aid of a Prince’s Trust grant, set up her own floristry business in Thornbury.

Eventually she decided to take up painting more seriously and discontinued the shop, although she still works regularly for her sister’s wedding flower business. And it is floristry that has provided the inspiration for Flora, the children’s television character she has created.

Flora’s World is to be a new television programme set in the fictitious small market town of Oakbury Bottom. The scenes will look slightly familiar to locals, taking their inspiration from Thornbury, Oldbury, Shepperdine, Hill and Berkeley. As a country girl, Lorna has also included her love of nature, the environment, conservation and also growing flowers, for Flora’s character is a florist. “Flora is quite feisty, and I think it’s nice for the girls to have someone like that to aspire to be when they grow up.”

Lorna and BAFTA award-winning writer Bob Baker are working hard to launch the first Flora’s World book in time for this year’s Severn Vale Art Trail.

Flora by Lorna Page

Bob has impeccable writing credentials, having written for three Wallace & Gromit films, including the Oscar-winning The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and countless television programmes including Dr Who. He is well known for being the creator of K9. His ability to perfectly capture the subtleties of each character as well as adding humour promises to make Flora’s World a winner.