Emma was born in London in 1962 and spent the latter part of her childhood in Cornwall. The artists associated with St Ives were an early influence, especially Alfred Wallis, Ben Nicholson and Roger Hilton. She did a Foundation course at Falmouth School of Art, followed by a BA Hons in Fine Art at Winchester School of Art. William Crozier was Head of Fine Art and later selected her to be Artist of the Day at the Angela Flowers Gallery in London. She completed an MA in Painting at Chelsea School of Art and started exhibiting soon after, gaining early success through annual Contemporary Art Society exhibitions. Subsequently, she has had many one person exhibitions in London and Cornwall and has exhibited regularly with Cadogan Contemporary, Cornwall Contemporary and Eastwood Fine Art. She has also had paintings accepted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, most recently in 2021 when her painting, Moorland farm, was featured on the BBC programme about the exhibition, having been selected by Kirsty Wark as one of her five favourite paintings. Emma’s paintings are in collections in Europe, the USA and Hong Kong.
The subject matter for Emma’s paintings includes animals, still life motifs and landscapes. Since returning to live in Cornwall in 2012, her paintings are often inspired by observations of the area such as farm animals and the landscape of Bodmin Moor and West Penwith which she frequently visits to draw. Sometimes a painting will be based on an image observed by chance such as the on going theme of dogs in cars and dog walkers. Seemingly mundane everyday encounters can provide an image, which is imbued with humour and pathos. Her painting process usually begins with drawing from observation and using sketches and her memory of the subject as a starting point; the paintings are developed in the studio. She works intuitively and aims for a simplified and pared down image that captures the essence of the subject.