The questions I am often asked by my customers
How long have you been painting?
Pretty much most of my life, but for the most part as a hobby painting in my spare time. My art was usually gifts for family and friends.
What was your career before you took up painting full time?
Office management and human resources. I have a Master of Science Degree
in Human Resource Management and a Post Graduate Degree in Counselling.
What made you change careers?
I had to give up my day career when I became ill. It took a quite a while to be finally diagnosed with ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Once I understood what was happening, I could manage it better, like pacing and resting. I’ve come a long way since then, and always need to pace myself to avoid a relapse. Painting and drawing for me was a natural way to relax at the time, and still is now. I have to be careful that I don’t take on more than I can manage. There are always days when I just need to rest up. It’s frustrating at times, but I’ve learnt to live with it and go with the flow. I’ve written a dedicated blog to “Living with ME/CFS” that paints a fuller picture.
When did you start selling your work?
I joined a local Art Society and entered some of my work into annual open competitions at local galleries. I was thrilled when I won a Visitors Favourite and several Highly Commended Awards in successive years. I was even more thrilled when people bought my paintings. From there, with local business support came the annual fetes and craft fairs. Having ME and Fibromyalgia though, I found the fetes and craft fairs exhausting. I enjoyed doing them, but I paid a heavy price for days afterwards. It seemed a natural progression then to also begin thinking about online promotion. So here I am now, and I’m still working on it.
Do you follow a discipline in your work?
No, I prefer to follow my heart and what inspires me in any moment. I experiment, play with ideas and quite often veer off on a tangent. I can’t see myself being constrained to one style, one theme or one form of art. From an Art Curator or Gallerist perspective it is not the best approach to take, but at my time of life, I want to go where my current interest takes me, hence a varied portfolio of paintings. I find it helps too as when I come back to a previous interest, I see it with fresh eyes. I love doing what I do and don’t want to lose that sense of enjoyment. Having a varied approach keeps that sense of enjoyment alive for me.
What brought you to the microscope studies.
I have a natural interest in biology and the cellular world, and in terms of relative size, my garden is like a universe, from the birdbath and pond to the plants that grow in the soil. There is so much to be inspired with.
Apart from painting, what other creative art projects do you enjoy?
I love using air drying clay. I find it incredibly relaxing to mould and shape. It’s also a natural base for painting. That’s how the painted hearts came about. I’ve developed and refined the process since the first few I made, to the ones I now have for sale.
I also have lino and gelli plates to experiment with for printing techniques, which I haven’t really played with yet. It is definitely on my list of things to try. I also enjoy sewing and working with fabrics.
I guess you could say that I will never ever be bored!