Hello, welcome to my Artweeks 2021 profile with landscapes and seascapes to distract from all that is going on in the world right now. I think right now, more than ever, it is important to share creativity with everyone and show them what is possible and to encourage others to pick up a creative outlet. I am a huge advocate of all things art therapy or I should say creative therapy. We live in a busy world and the events that began in 2020 in the UK and around the world just showed how important self care is. The self care that many ignore is the need for their own time, to process their days, relax and enjoy while taking their mind away from the normal daily stresses. My artwork is my creative outlet and I hope you enjoy my pieces on show this year and it helps you escape even if for a moment by looking at some of my pieces.
This year my Artweeks exhibition was, like I imagine many, heavily inspired by the global pandemic and lockdowns with expressionism and escapism with the focus from water to land. When you are stuck in 4 walls you can either get drawn in or you can reminisce of happy memories, thoughtful moments and places that make you smile and a sense of hope. My 'lockdown sketchbook diaries' and exploration of colours and methods of application to create my pieces were my lockdowns and a positive way to look back over what can be seen as a very bleak time for many. But positivity and hope is something I always try to hold on to.
I decided when lockdown came to not waste the time away which from experience I know can easily happen. I set myself a number of challenges and some not art related were rather ambitious but determination always comes through (she says admiring a new floor she laid!!) Art wise I have always pushed myself but always used brushes so I said to myself I was going to work on some pieces that were different to my norm and picked up palette knives, and selected colours that I tend not to be immediately drawn to. For me Green was a colour I was never drawn to unless it was a sea green verging on blue. But the emeralds and rich viridian and hooker hues were just not something I even owned. But why? I was just never drawn to them but how could I disregard a colour palette without trying it, of course I couldn't. And there was another challenge, to open my colour palette, which a majority of said palette celebrates every blue tone you can imagine. Here come the greens and here I painted a very green Lake Buttermere. And my oh my I have a huge appreciation and understanding after mixing what felt like copious amounts of green.
But there was something else that happened, now I do love my blue tones but someone said "you are known for blue skies" and I disagreed. I am known for my skies but not because of the blue shades. The person went on that I only like bright colours and a cheerful palette reflecting my character and I thought no I don't. What I like art wise myself and what I paint do differ. And commissions which I don't always share can be any colours. So here was the next challenge to show that I can use darker colours and that dark colours are just as key to a colour palette. What people may not see is a bright painting will have darker tones to lift the bright colours to give the overall image. So, what darker colour than black to show the beauty of dark colours. You can see Halcyon Glow, Perfect Storm and Night waters were all part of this challenge which evoke powerful and emotive feelings of freedom and expression for me.
Some of my paintings can look similar to that of a photo (Buttermere Lake, Balearic Vibes for instance) but I felt I also want to show a piece doesn't need to be picture perfect to be well, picture perfect and show the expressive side. I want my art to evoke a feeling and give people a feeling of presence within the painting or view and transport them to a moment that feeling evokes. So out came the palette knives. My sketchbook entries (detailed in the flip book) were all quick palette knife acrylic on paper entries to show rustic doesn't mean less artistic or captivating.
For me this Artweeks focuses mainly on expressionism, escapism and hope and I hope you enjoy these pieces as much as I do. If lockdown has reminded me of anything it’s the beauty around us that we can be guilty to take for granted and we should remember how privileged we are to experience such beautiful places and memories.
I suppose some would say I’m relatively new to art, only beginning in late 2017 and was far from what I would call art (rather more interpretive I think!) However through practice and determination to allow my art to flow with no pressure and challenging myself I am proud to call myself an artist.
In 2016, I went through a life changing experience that felt devastating overnight but it’s not for sympathy I say that (I cannot abide that) but rather what it gave me was utterly remarkable and I gained the gift of art.
Going through any kind of difficult situation or tragedy, can remind us of what really matters and open our eyes to what we are surrounded by, and use our experiences to give others hope, because hope always remains. There is always a way through difficult times, we just have to find it.
My go to medium and what I am known for is my work in acrylics (both soft and heavy body) on canvas and paper, although like many artists I dabble in other mediums in my downtime to keep the experience of creativity flowing. I love a satin finish and sometimes like some rustic texture and I have an addiction for blending my skies.
I have always been inspired to paint my memories, and the pictures and feelings in my head. Learning to paint at a difficult time was a positive because while I couldn't communicate normally, art gave me the power to communicate back through pictures and that is something very powerful to express feelings and words in pictures and not be stuck in my head on my own.
Perhaps I'm bit of what some may call a rogue artist because of my variations of style (but that's just me love it or hate I love the variety. Which I think is clear if I tell you I've come from a life in Finance to Art!) I’m an artist with a total adoration of Cornwall, particularly North Cornwall and landscapes and of course my own roots of the Oxfordshire Countryside with is reflected in my art.
I don’t have a studio, just my kitchen table with boxes and bags full of an array of colourful soft and heavy body acrylics and more brushes than anyone could want! It's not neat and tidy but what I call an organised chaos. Pristine and tidy sounds lovely but I'm not sure it would work for me, I love nothing more than rummaging through my paints and colours jumping out on me to form that moments colour palette. It feels exciting and fun. My painting area is full of that, there is always music on, a view out of the French windows and fresh air, not to mention my very own giant assistant (a house rabbit) Betsy, sleeping at my feet!
Going through any kind of difficult situation or tragedy, can remind us of what really matters and open our eyes to what we are surrounded by, and use our experiences to give others hope, because hope always remains.
All of my art is done for my own rehab and is sold entirely to fundraise to help other survivors by providing rehab activity packs, (which include art therapy items amongst manty), support group and more to help give others the power of hope.
If you would like to contact me to discuss artwork for sale, commissions or indeed any queries, please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you enjoy this years exhibition.