Stepping out of the shadows
Updated: Mar 23, 2019
After 4 years of working as an artist I discovered painting, so what did I do for the first four years most people ask?
I have always been creative and enjoyed making all sorts of things, but having made the decision to be an artist full time, I began not with what I knew or was familiar with but by teaching myself a new skill, which was felt making.
“In making the decision to paint as part of my professional practice I am not going to abandon or exclude the other creative processes I have taught myself and enjoy.”
I started with wet felt, which is a process that requires wool, water, soap and lots of elbow grease to turn it into a fabric. Following on from that I discovered needle felting, or dry felting, which uses barbed needles to compress and shape the wool. Wet felting produces a tough hard wearing fabric, which is best used for items such as bags as bags and purses, although it can also be used for decorative items such as pictures and decorative items. Needle felting is best used for decorative items that won't be subject to wear and tear. Great detail can be obtained, although it is a slow, yet meditative process.
I also made paper mache models, stitched collages, created jewellery, taught others these skills and generally created whatever my I wanted to, while trying to manage my mental health and maintain my independence. Naturally I required more than just my creative practice to keep me on the road to recovery and I have had excellent professional help and care from the specialist psychological therapies department in Newcastle.
In making the decision to paint as part of my professional practice I am not going to abandon or exclude the other creative processes I have taught myself and enjoy, as I feel that they all enrich my work in any chosen medium and have no doubt played a part in my painting methods and practice.