After drawing from a young age (especially horses!) and attending art college in my teens, unfortunately life and the need to eat meant I did not follow a full time artist career. Working at several different types of jobs, including grocery, postwoman and Accounts Manager and working even harder at being a Mum, I eventually returned to painting a few years ago. I worked in acrylics and watercolours initially but found pastels to be the perfect medium to paint with.
I have for many years been a chronic migraine sufferer and they have seriously effected my day to day living, my work, my social life, but luckily not my relationship with my very understanding husband who brings me the cold flannels! For a long time a good week for me was having two days being migraine free.
But now I am really pleased to say that after recently changing my diet completely and sticking to a strict regime of NO sugar, NO processed foods and staying with all fresh natural ingredients, they have reduced drastically and appear to have almost disappeared altogether for some weeks. Painting helps considerably take your mind off pain and I know of many artists that paint for that reason alone.
With mental awareness now being so prominent in the media and programming, you will probably have seen that Art therapy is used for a wide-spectrum of conditions and illnesses. For example, it can help with the following:
Bereavement and loss
Some people can feel overwhelmed by the problems they face, by the pressures they feel to succeed and by the hectic world that exists around them.
Art can become a way to communicate thoughts and emotions that seem too complex or confusing to articulate by talking alone.
For me, when those beautiful sticks of pastel are in my hand, everything is right in my world. I will paint for what seems like half an hour and realise I have been sitting for over 4 hours. I am often wondering why my dog is bothering me for his dinner or sitting with his legs crossed! It's with such a great feeling (and trepidation still) when I hand over a completed work of art and I absolutely love seeing the reactions when I can, or receiving the amazing feedback from the new owner.
Especially when I have painted a pet that has crossed over the 'rainbow bridge'. Unfortunately, I know from experience the heartache of losing a pet - if you would like some support after losing a pet and have not seen the Rainbow Bridge online, take a look at rainbowbridgeonline.com. They are the fastest-growing pet loss site in the world and are heading towards being the biggest community of animal lovers with thousands of pets waiting at Rainbow Bridge - and they only started the site at the beginning of 2017!
I am lucky to now paint in both the U.K and abroad where a hotter climate can have its challenges. Like most artists, I have always been scared of not being good enough and until 2017 other things in my life always took priority and my art was put on hold. And like most artists, I feel I will never paint the perfect painting, but I now have fun painting the ugly ones, the mediocre ones and maybe, just hopefully more frequently, the really good ones that make me bounce with joy and my heart sing!