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 my perfect medium to paint with.
Being an Artist I am so fortunate to be able to see the beauty in the world around me in more colour and detail. I see a painting around every corner. Unfortunately, this is also true sometimes in seeing the negative impact we are making on the world, so I am grateful to be able to share and express through colour, shape and form how I see splendour in the little details. I am so lucky that Art is my life now, from the moment I wake to when I eventually get to bed at night, my mind is always on the next idea.
Creating realistic pet portraits, wildlife and landscape paintings in pastels mostly from photos – my main medium, I also love watercolour and pen and wash. After laying down a map of pastel colours with mostly Unison pastels, my preferred technique is to use pastel pencils to create the fur detail and play of light. As an animal artist, pastels are ideal for creating the textures of fur, scales or feathers.
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. For a very long time a good week for me was having two days being migraine free.
After 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 (fingers crossed) to have almost disappeared altogether. Painting helps considerably take your mind off pain and I see many artists that paint to help some sort of pain condition like a trauma or life affecting illness.
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 - especially since COVID became part of our world.
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 dogs keep bothering me for their dinner or sitting with their 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 National Animal Welfare Trust website - they offer Pet Loss and Pet Bereavement Support.
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 jump with joy and and feel all warm and fuzzy.