Creative Ponderings Blog

Where it all started... 

Hi and thanks for being here! If you're here I hope it means you enjoy my work and hopefully I can give you a little in return my sharing about myself and showing you my connection to everything I create. 

Like most people, I enjoyed art as a child. I remember going to a friend's house to play but my friends presenting me with a hostess trolley filled with bits of paper and pens and glue etc. I didn't play with anyone that day but spent the time at their kitchen table contentedly creating.  I remember popping along to the art classrooms in my lunch break just to work a little bit more on whatever project we had going on at the time. But I was also encouraged away from art and instead focused on music and drama, two other passions of mine.

But I've recently found lots of sketchbooks from the years between then and now. And paintings on my wall from that time too. So, although not consciously, art was still a part of my life and often something I turned to when emotions were high. My husband's favourite piece of mine hangs in my dining room. We had had an argument and it was too cold and rainy for me to just leave the house so I sat in our then dining room with my oil pastels and got to work on a poor piece of paper that took quite a beating. 

My husband (we weren't married at the time) came by an hour later to see if I'd cooled down enough to accept his apology (I had) and saw that I'd created this stormy sea scene with a sail boat being bashed about by the waves. Not enough to hang in the National Gallery, still it captured the moment so well. Neither of us remember what the argument was about now! And he loves the piece! 

But although I sketched and painted I didn't call myself an artist. It was just a part time hobby and I didn't do it often. Years passed and I got married and had my first child. And my time and desires were no longer my own. My husband works for a creative arts institution and picked up various bits and pieces from fairs. One of which was a beautiful sketchbook which he gifted to me. And one 28th April, in desperate need of some time of my own he persuaded me to lock myself in a room for an hour which I gratefully did. And I've sketched or painted every day since. Even through the birth and newborn days of another addition to our family (a handy bum bag / fanny pack with some mini pens and a small sketchbook helped!). 

Since then it feels like my artistic tastes and abilities have been on a real journey. I've been lucky enough to exhibit my work in various venues and taken part in competitions and markets. It seems unreal to me that people enjoy my work in their own homes in the way that I truly value the original artwork of artists I admire in my own home.

I have a small studio in my home where much of my work is created. But I also own a pochade box which I take on location to paint from observation. Like many artists I find painting from observation essential for my learning and ability to render what I see accurately. But I also find my studio work equally essential. In the studio I have more time to contemplate my moves and convey not just what I see but also how I feel or an intention for the piece at hand. Sometimes, en plein air, this gets lost in the myriad of other things that are happening at the same time. My plein air work is my study work, my studio work tends to be a combination of study and final work. 

My studio has gone through many changes over the years. One change that I have yet to make is to take out the horrible carpet which dates back to the previous owners about a bazillion years ago. But I'm undecided whether keeping it is useful because I don't need to worry about spillages and splashes. So... for now... it stays. 

I have a glass topped oak table where my glass oil palette is kept. On the table is a small table easel and next to the table is a radial easel for larger works. Also on the table is an area for still life set up with a LED lamp that I can use for lighting effects. 

On the other side of the dual aspect room I have a table for watercolours, sketching and computer work. Its a lovely and long table which I thought would give me tons of room. But the table is always covered with what I'm working on and I still feel squashed into one spot quite often. And then I have another table for my sewing machine. 

Also in the studio I have a welsh dresser with all sorts of bits and bobs and where I display recent paintings that may need evaluation before calling them completed. I have a double sized wardrobe filled with balls of wool, there is a wall mounted drying rack, a bookshelf of assortments and an A2 set of drawers. The room is full and comfortable but still feels pretty spacious. One day I hope to have an extra space but our next project will be to build my husband a workshop so he can make some frames for my work.

And all this is alongside my day job. My time painting is fit in during evenings and weekends and any trips we have. I'll sketch on the train to or from work too. Whenever I can. 

But why do I do it? There are many reasons why. And in fact, more than it would be necessary for me to fit into this chapter of my blog. If you've read to here then thank you and I hope that by doing so we've forged a connection because this is my ultimate aim for the blog. To form connections, be honest and true with both you and myself, and to share what I've learned and hopefully, what I will continue to learn. Thank you for being here. I truly appreciate it.