Well, basically I have reached that age where I am a professional ‘faffer’ (tending to be very busy ‘faffing around’ all day and not having much to show for it), if one could get a degree in faffing, I think I would have several grades of it, and numerous certificates on the walls.
When I am not faffing, I am hoarding ‘stuff’ that may be useful one day (which it never is… until the day you decide to throw it away after keeping it for 10 years and then, that is THE very thing you need). That theory which has indeed been proved correct on so many occasions is the very reason for hoarding, or as I like to call it ‘keeping safe’.
Faffing and Hoarding aside, the time that is left (when not looking after our dogs or chatting to my budgie) I paint!
How long have you been painting for? I get asked (usually the standard ‘how to start a conversation with an artisty person thing’)
Since play school when I was about 3 years old.
Always a shy, quiet child, when I started a little playgroup (in Birmingham where I spent the most wonderful childhood surrounded by my family) the first thing I headed for was a short easel with fold down sheets of white paper (a bit like the paper you get fish and chips in) and tubs of primary coloured yummy looking poster paints. At that point, an artist was born!
According to Mom, I have always liked to ‘splodge’ paint around and proudly took home my messy works of art on chip paper from playgroup.
During that wonderful childhood in Birmingham, living in a terraced street not far from my Nan & Gramp, and Aunt, Uncle and cousins, I had adventures to Gramps allotment, being trundled in his old wheelbarrow, amidst his spade, fork, cheese & Onion sandwiches and an old bit of sacking to sit on (and probably to carry home spuds we dug up) I say ‘we’ I think I only went to help eat the peas and carrots and to be with my Gramp.
Those early days taught me to love gardening, I still do today. There is something very therapeutic about playing in the soil and sowing seeds, tending plants to look forward to the next season.
Loving nature so much tempts me on a regular basis to paint flowers, gardens, birds and other wildlife.
Fast forwarding from those early days, I never lost the love for painting, drawing, being outside and gardening, and keeping things that may be useful!
I went to Comprehensive School in Tamworth in Staffordshire (we moved there due to Dads work) and my favourite subjects were Art, English and Environmental Science (I don’t believe children have ‘EVS’ any more, but chose it as it involved the outdoors, plants and wildlife).
We again had to move when I was 18 years old to Wales due to my Dads work (where we have been ever since), so, I had to complete my A level Art in 1 year instead of 2, a lot of work but I did it and was the first pupil in that new school to get an A level (grade1, or A, or whatever it was!) I think my parents and my Art teacher were more proud than I was, I was just glad it was done and over with and I could leave school!
When we got to Wales I considered going to college, but opted for getting a job instead and in my spare time, basically taught myself how to paint various subjects, with different mediums, reading lots of art books.
Years and years of practice later I am still learning, you never stop learning.
With every painting, something – be it mix a shade, tweak a whisker with an old tatty brush or accidently rub a bit off with your sleeve you learn, and think,, Ooo I like that.
I have sold paintings to lovely people from around the world, as far as Australia and as close as our local Town!
I don’t have a particular ‘genre’ of style, I pretty much paint what I fancy painting when I wake up in the morning. (or what a customer has asked me to do for them)
I have some wonderful Artist friends who specialise in a particular subject, I would get a bit bored if I just painted landscapes, I see something and I always wonder if it can become a painting.
It can be a dramatic castle in Acrylic paints, an imaginary Dragon, fairy or Witch’s house, or subtle watercolour flowers, gardens, street scenes, coastal villages, dogs or an Elephant.
There are too many wonderful choices to stick to one thing! Variety is the spice of life so they say, and with paintings I think that is so true.
I love architecture and old fashioned streets, you will find my Character Mavis, strolling around any street scenes I paint, she is usually chatting up an old chap outside a pub, with her black cat following her! In past exhibitions, people used to visit and walk around the paintings looking out for Mavis, she became quiet a superstar.
The only thing I don’t really paint is portraits, but as I said, I am still learning and who knows where my brushes will lead me in the future, until then, if you would like anything in particular, do feel free to send me a message, I would love to hear from you.