Painting for me always held deeply negative beliefs and feelings about my abilities, this was due to the damaging way I was taught at school. Like many left handed children I was made to use my right hand and then berated for producing work that wasn't perfect for a teacher who thought art was copying what he stuck to the blackboard each lesson.
While that experience undoubtedly influenced my participation in art it did not stop or discourage me from enjoying art produced by others.
In 2014 I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder following a series of traumatic events. Informed by my previous career in social work I began a creative business, Happy Planet Creative Arts, to give me structure and purpose to hold me through the process of recovery and healing.
In 2017 I published a book of poetry which charted my journey of the previous 17 years, Lines From an Unfinished Love Song. Just as I was completing that book I felt a strong urge to paint on one of my sleep disturbed evenings. I noted it but did not act. This happened several times over a period of weeks, before finally it could be ignored no longer.
I simply began to paint what I felt, in the moment, using black canvasses to note my despair and metal leaf to represent me as an energy.
The urge has not diminished since I began to paint, it has grown. It is a positive energy that draws me to an immersive place in my studio where I can converse silently with my thoughts and invite them to dance on the canvas as an abstract artist
Each painting has it's own story, which I write when the painting is complete. That story is mine but I am also interested in how the paintings speak to others, what the images invoke and how they might paint their story.
Additionally, since I lost my speech paint allows me to communicate independently, without the use of a machine or third party.
I enjoy teaching and run creative workshops for people who may feel that they have little in the way of creative skills. I believe we all have an inner artist and provide a nurturing supportive environment for small groups and individuals keen to play and explore their own creativity.