getting to know our artists…..

an interview with Artspring artist

Antonia Enthoven

Antonia at her Hunter Penrose etching press

Hello Antonia……

how long have you been an artist and how did your artistic career begin?

I worked as a freelance illustrator as soon as I left art school in 1984! The first year was busy hawking the portfolio, meeting people in the industry and working to get my work in print. I was lucky to quickly pick up regular work from a couple of London magazines and was soon able to show my watercolours translated well into print and that I could work to a commission and deadline!

Why do you make art and what themes do you pursue?

Making art has always been my therapy! After years of working to commission, sourcing my reference mainly from photos, I now enjoy working from life. Themes are inspired from my everyday life of being a busy mother and daughter, of the “sandwich generation” enjoying the highs and lows it presents.

‘Squeezed’ – etching by Antonia Enthoven

Who or what have most inspired you?

Family without doubt has been my main inspiration. Reflecting on times spent with them, places visited, food enjoyed!

Waiting for Mum’ – etching by Antonia Enthoven

Can you describe your first big break?

I was commissioned to do a large number of book jackets for a New York best seller writer. Little did I know just how prolific a writer she is and although I appreciated the work in the earlier days, over the years the work became soul breaking. It was a big break, but it lead me to a larger one – retiring from the commercial work to pursue my own work and to rediscover my passion for printmaking!

Not yet done’ – etching by Antonia Enthoven

What gives you joy?

Other than being with my muses (!!) I get great joy out of continuing to develop my art, revealing a successful print from the press and enjoying others’ too!

Are there any achievements of which you feel particularly proud?

I was proud to have two etchings at the RA Summer Exhibition this year. ‘Side by Side’, one of the prints is shown here….

‘Side by Side’ – etching by Antonia Enthoven

How do you like to spend your time when you are not being an artist? 

Over the years I have worked on renovating several properties and the gardens, which are ongoing! My grandfather and father were architects and it was a career I had seriously considered, buildings fascinate me and often appear in my work!

What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given regarding your art?

To be true to yourself.

Young woman reading’ – etching by Antonia Enthoven

 Anything else I should know? 

I did a stint as a reporting artist for Operation Raleigh back in 1987 and was based in Kenya for three months. I had hoped it would lead to more reportage work, inspired by work by Linda Kitson reporting from the Falklands war a few years earlier. Alas no such work came my way but I’ve enjoyed many a challenge set closer to home and ‘gone with the flow ‘!

What is the best thing for you about being a member of Artspring?

The best thing is being a part of a great community of artists who have given me confidence and been a tremendous inspiration. Without Hildegard Pax’s encouragement to apply to Open Call exhibitions I would never have thought to see my work on the Mall Gallery or Royal Academy  walls.

Empty egg’ – etching by Antonia Enthoven

Antonia was interviewed by Caroline Fraser, October 2019

Comments (5)

What an interesting interview, thank you Caroline and Antonia. I look forward to reading more about the Artspring artists in the future.

1 year ago

    Thank you for your comments Sarah; it is a privilege to hear about the motivations and inspirations of our Artspring artists

    1 year ago
Sue Holmes

I have a screen print of a group of Samburu tribes people sitting/standing outside a shack in Northern Kenya. It was done by Antonia whilst on Operation Raleigh and it hangs over my fireplace: I love the quality of the print and it Is associated with memories that I happIly return to again and again, I was in Kenya for the following expedition and spent time in the company of another reporting artist whose name was Callie. I have one of her expedition paintings on my bedroom wall and it was whilst focussing on that during a sleepless night that made me reach for the iPad!

1 year ago

    thanks for your memories, Sue. I cannot recommend reaching for an iPad during a sleepless night, but am glad that you did!

    1 year ago
Antonia Enthoven

Hi Sue,

I have just been forwarded your lovely message and I know the print in question well, it also hung on my parents dining room wall until just recently and now has been handed down to my eldest. I was studying it and reminiscing about my happy time as a reporting artist in Kenya and meeting Callie as I handed over the reigns! Strangely enough she and I became neighbours for a few years but failed to keep in touch when we left London in the early 1990s. Are you still in touch with her?
Thank you for getting in touch.

11 months ago

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