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 and
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 since grown to an essential part of my life, especially since the loss of my speech following a violent mugging in 2018.
Painting for me is a positive force with an energy that draws me to an immersive place in my studio where I can converse silently with my thoughts and invite them onto the canvas as an artist.
Additionally, paint allows me to communicate independently, without the use of a machine or third party.