What's My Story?
What's yours? I find it fascinating that everybody has a different story. Everybody has their own way of looking at the world. Everyone has their own unique perspective and experience. For me, this means you can learn from anyone.
Through my own experience I have learnt that people can offer you support and guidance, although if you want to make something happen you need to do it for yourself. You can write your own story and write your own narrative. What's my story so far?
My first memory that springs to mind when I think of my artistic journey is drawing on the underside of the kitchen table when I was a child, or was that last week?! I can't remember if my parents were happy about this or if they even knew but I'm hoping to visit their house soon! This is one of the aspects that I enjoy about art, being playful and creative.
My time in secondary school as a pupil was very mixed for me but art lessons were what I looked forward to. I didn't know why at the time but they were a safe haven for me. I did a lot of work and projects while studying art at school, but the project that I keep coming back to in my mind was studying the work of Cy Twombly. Again, I probably didn't know why I was so drawn to him as an artist at that time. Towards the end of secondary school my interest in education dropped massively as I pondered the 'big' one. What did I want to do with my life? I'm writing this with no regrets as all my life choices and experiences have led me to this point now, but a little more self-confidence back then wouldn't have gone a miss!
I had an offer from the Winchester School of Art to study there in 2009, but I wasn't quite ready to back myself in an industry that is perceived as being more 'risky'. The decision was made to study languages at university and then I went on to train to be a French teacher. Like I said, there are no regrets. I was pushed way outside my comfort zone living in France, learning a new language and then going on to teach French and Spanish in secondary school. I had no idea I would end up back in school, having had such a love hate relationship with it, when I was a pupil myself.
I can vaguely remember going to an art exhibition in Edinburgh during university and teacher training. My guess would be 2013. It's worth noting that I wasn't really in a great place mentally at this time and I was doing my best to keep myself afloat. Walking around the exhibition I got quite upset and had a feeling of hopelessness and envy as I thought I could be doing things like this.
At this point, I had barely picked up a paintbrush since school, so I had know idea what I was thinking. That experience did push me to start painting and drawing again. I didn't appreciate it at the time, but that decision helped me get through the stresses and anxieties of teacher training and life. It also helped me express a lot of unwanted and negative emotion, without me even knowing it! Over the following years, art would become more and more prominent in my life. I painted sporadically between 2013 and 2020, nothing too sustained though, only when I needed it for a release. During this time I also started to work on myself. It has been interesting for me to look back at my art and to compare it with what was happening in my life at various times.
2021 was my most consistent year of creating art and I've continued that momentum at the start of 2022. I would describe my current style as mixed. In short, I paint and draw what I feel, to express myself or to evoke a memory. My subjects include landscapes, real or imagined, abstracts, particularly sunsets and also expressionist pieces, which often include collages of my own sketches, words and cuttings from my journals. I have also started to incorporate French and Spanish words, as I draw upon my life experiences to date.
At the end of 2021, I returned to the same exhibition I visited in 2013. The major difference being, this time I was in a much better mental place. I walked round in amazement at all the pieces on display, looking at the breadth of talent and also the stories behind the work. For me, this moment showed how far I had come. Instead of standing there with a feeling of hopelessness like I did in 2013, I stood there with a feeling of hope about the next chapter of my artistic story.
I am self-taught Artist based in Scotland. I love getting outside and exploring with my sketchbook and paintbrushes. I find being outdoors and creating something are great for my mental health. I'm currently looking for a new pair of boots for my upcoming birthday so I'm hoping that will encourage me to get out even more.
I experiment with different mediums and styles and have continued to do that since rediscovering my paintbrushes whilst training as a French teacher. I didn't realise this at the time but producing art helped me get through a stressful year of training. Mental health shouldn't be overlooked and is why I'm donating to the Scottish Association for Mental Health.
I am currently producing abstracts of the Forth Rail Bridge and painting scenes from Scotland. This year (2021) I will continue to paint in acrylic and oil paint and will try to get outdoors as much as I can! Scotland is a great place to do it and it gives me great ideas for my art.
You can read my blog to read about my art, my process, the places that inspire me and perhaps a little more.
You can also see what I have for sale here.