|Posted on October 9, 2017 at 11:00 PM||comments (0)|
This is an extended edition of my history with Art. I will be posting regular updates. happy reading.
I have always loved to draw; from as far back as I can remember. My first painting was in one of those magic painting books, I must have been about three or four. I remember the wonder I felt when the water changed the colours of the page and a picture appeared. It is a feeling I try to recreate every time I paint or draw. Art is Magic.
I also found another form of magic in storytelling, I wrote all the time, stories, poems and plays. this was no easy task as I am dyslexic and no one but myself could read my handwriting in those very early years. But this blog is about Art, not writing, ((maybe I’ll write an extended blog about my successes and failures as a writer) P.S. I’m published :-))
The Early years
I was not born with what is often called natural talent, at least not in art (I was as it turned out a very good writer). However my desire to draw and paint stayed with me, even when my early efforts met with less than enthusiastic responses. But I know what looks good and what doesn’t. And perseverance eventually began to pay off.
I enjoyed painting and creative art in preschool and up to year seven. But then it was off to senior school at aged eleven and things changed.
I took art at school, but I found it hard to concentrate in the class room. The teacher slept through most of the class, only waking to shout at the kids as a projectile hit him in the head. So throughout most of high school art consisted of doodles on my books and home work and the odd drawing at home.
Encouragement from an unlikely source
At fourteen it was time to choose our curriculum for the next two years. I chose a needle work and sowing class as one of my options (Not my first choice), But as it turned out, a good one.
The teacher was young and very encouraging. My needle work was appalling but my sketches and clothing designs were good and caught the teacher’s eye. She encouraged me to do more, draw, design and compile a portfolio of work.
So that’s when I decided to be a fashion designer. I started making clothes for myself and my designs were good and people were taking notice. But I was not really fond of cutting patterns and spending time at the sewing machine and after a while I dropped the idea. But still, I kept drawing. And I also kept writing.
After I left school in 1980, with all the intentions of attending college, I got a summer job at what was then called Texas stores. ‘Well’ I had money coming in and friends to help me spend it, and some pretty wild weekends, so college kind of took a back seat for a number of years and so did my art (well, it was the 80's)
Then in the mid 80's I did something really stupid, I got married (don't get me wrong, I don't think marriage is stupid, but marring someone just because it seems like a good idea at the time...). It lasted a year (almost). But I did get a beautiful baby boy out of it, 'Garry James', who was born on a very cold new years eve. Unfortunately though I suffered postnatal depression, and it became quite bad after the death of my grandmother a year later.
By the end of the 80's my son and I were living with my parents at their home in Milton Keynes, Buckingham, Many miles from my childhood dreams and aspirations.
In 1989 I spent a few weeks in therapy for depression. My therapist recommended that I start painting again as a way to help the depression. So I brought some paints and paper and started painting trees (pictures of, not actually painting trees). And I found it very therapeutic. I was also introduced to clay sculpting, now that was therapeutic; you can really take your frustrations out on the clay.
Over the next few years I painted regularly. And started thinking about college again this time for a degree in Art and design.
In 1993 I married my Best friend George, a wonderful man, and we had a baby girl, Caroline Ann. Then in September 1994, with the backing and encouragement of my husband, I enrolled into the Art and Design degree program at M.K. College. I found I enjoyed the Art part of the course work and even the art history, but I had to take European studies as well as English and maths as parts of the courses. This I was not so keen on. And so after finishing the foundation year I left.
A change as good as a rest
By 1996 my health took a nose dive and I was later diagnosed with CFS and Fibromyalgia. I started looking into alternative medicine. I even took courses in the hope I would find a way to help myself. And by 2004 I was a trained in a number of alternative therapies. But the best therapy was painting, and of course there was my writing, especially poetry which i found to be very beneficial. I even got started on writing a book. (It’s not finished yet).
My favourite medium at that time was acrylics, and I loved painting animals. I soon had some commissions and in 2006 I was asked to paint my first large wall mural, a tiger.
A move to Somerset.
The move to Somerset in 2005 was a good one, both for my mental and physical health.
I found myself at university studying science and creative writing and this time I stayed the Corse and passed with flying colours in both areas. Over that time again my art was put on hold.
I had been paining in oils and acrylics and of course pencil was my first love, but in 2007 I began to use pastels and charcoals (I really should have tried these earlier, The feel of the pastel or charcoal between your fingers has an unleashing affect. It’s like getting inside your painting and the image is easy to get down on to the paper). I have fallen in love with pastels. Later I also experimented with watercolour and mixed-medium.
Then in 2010 I started studying the art styles from different parts of the world, from the miniatures of India and Iran to the bold line of the aboriginal paintings. But I really enjoyed the styles of Japan and China. So I set out to look for a Mentor, and I found ‘two’.
I have combined my love of the written word and the art of Japanese calligraphy with a modern view of both Japanese and Chinese art to produce some interesting and visually striking works.
This has led me to contemplate writing and illustrating a children’s book (I’ll keep you updated on that)
I've had some poems published in an anthology entitled 'In mind of Violet'. I also have paintings on display at Chilcompton surgery, as well as in privet collections in versus places around the world.
At the moment I work from my home in Midsomer Norton, near Bath. My studio (at the moment) is our spare room.
I am a Member of the SAA as of 2008
In July of this year I joined the Cam Valley Arts Trail and will be displaying my work at venue 11 on 4th & 5th November. I also will be demonstrating Chinese brush painting on Saturday 4th at 12:30 pm
Location: Cameley primary school, meadway, Temple Cloud, Bristol, BS39 5BD
open 11am - 5pm Saturday and sunday
My range at present:
I use a range of mediums. But I particularly enjoy Watercolour and Pastel, and more recently Chinese ink. I practice and use Japanese sumi-e and Chinese Xieyi and Gongbi style as a form of meditation and relaxation. And there are few things more fun than Pomo, a form of Chinese painting involving pouring and mixing paint directly on the paper.
I also work in Acrylics, Oils, Oil pastels, Inks and Pencils. My subject matter is just as varied.
Ok so we’re up to date. Look out for my next blog for the continuation.