If you thought artists led quiet lives—well, buckle up!

As I sat down to pen my artistic journey for ArtGallery.co.uk, it dawned on me just how eclectic my path has been. From unexpected turns to serendipitous detours, my life’s adventure is a story I’m excited to unfold for you. Join me as I trace the steps that led me to where I am today.

Welcome to my world, where the paint never dries and the adventure never ends. So I thought it was time to tell you about my artistic background. Now I didn’t go to university or even a fancy art school, to learn the history of the masters. Oh, to have spent a semester in Florence or Paris. No, I did it the hard way. But how else would I have done it—have you met me?

If you thought artists led quiet lives—well, buckle up!

My artistic journey began straight out of school, armed with nothing but an A-Level in Art and Design, along with a pocket full of dreams bigger than my sketchbook. I embarked on my artistic odyssey right after waving goodbye to school. With aspirations of becoming a graphic designer. I dove into the world of lines and colour’s, only to realise that the straight lines were just not for me. Let’s be honest, the only straight lines I’ve ever managed are the ones in my sketchbook margins!

Then came the era of the whimsical children’s lamps – my foray into pottery. Each lamp was a story, a little lighthouse in a child’s room, and my first real taste of bringing joy through art. I even sold them at the Ideal Home Exhibition, as well as being part of a family pottery who showed at Chelsea Flower Show, and even had works in Harrods—that was a life time ago.

But why stop at lamps?

In 1995 my first baby was born, and by the time the new millennium came, I had left pottery and I ventured into the world of teaching. I started in the beauty industry, but art was in my veins and I developed art and marketing seminars. Which eventually had me traveling the world, and even teaching to rooms of two-hundred students. Traveling wasn’t as glamorous as it sounds. My routine was the airport—car—venue—hotel room; rinse and repeat. The true highlight. Collecting fridge magnets from every airport – my version of capturing memories without the need for a sketchpad.

And about those airports – oh, the joys of delayed flights and jet lag! But the wanderlust was real. Igniting a passion for people and cultures, despite the occasional airport blues.

Yet, for all its charm, global teaching had its quirks. Picture this: an Englishwoman trying to teach a class while attendees chatter on phones or casually brew coffee mid-lecture. There I was, my English sensibilities doing the tango with diverse cultural norms. My dear students, a grocery list can surely wait—can’t it?

But, as with any good story, there comes a plot twist. I hung up my globetrotting hat and decided to become a professional artist. This decision was etched in sadness to give up my successful business due to chronic pain. It was a bitter pill—literally. But there is always a silver lining. Ah, the smell of oils and watercolours in the morning!

Fast forward, and I’ve traded international flights for a caravan jaunt around the UK. It’s team Sam and Jon now. Crafting our way across the countryside. The setup: A caravan, and a car full of art show stands, plus a whole lot of love and creativity.

My days are a whimsical blend of designing, painting, and sometimes—just sometimes, deciding whether getting dressed is on the agenda. Music or a good podcast is my backdrop, with Bella, my non-judgmental dance partner, wagging her tail to my every move.

So how come I do pet portraits? This unexpected love affair started as a means to keep the roof over my head, and beans on toast on the table. It was either this or working in Tesco’s and they wouldn’t have me!  Little did I know, capturing the essence of Fido and Fluffy in watercolour or oils would become my bread n’ butter, and my heart’s delight. By 2023, the waiting list for these furry muses stretched to four months long!

Now, in the grand canvas of 2024 I’m painting a balance between these beloved pet commissions and finding my artistic voice. It’s a bit like trying to mix the perfect shade of blue – exciting, challenging, and oh-so rewarding.

So, here I am. An artist who’s lived a thousand lives in one. From teaching across the globe to crafting in a caravan, from pottery lamps to pet portraits. Each brushstroke on my canvas is a story, a laugh, a memory. But the journey has had it’s troubles. With cancer, heart bypasses (not me), a chronic spinal condition (me) and of course—Covid—who can forget Covid. Aside from all this, we had the joys of a new grandchild, weddings and proposals. Grand shifts in careers and now, new adventures on the horizons. We are living our best life with eyes and hearts open.

Join me in this colourful caravan of life, where art is not just about the final piece, but the joy, the mishaps, the fridge magnets, and the dances with Bella. It’s a journey of creativity, humour, and heart – and it’s only just begun.

Welcome to my world – it’s a little quirky, with a lot of colour, and always open for adventure

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