Tag Archives: crikchowell wales

Earliest childhood memories and what they indicate….

Having recently celebrated my 74th birthday, I find myself thinking a great deal about my journey through life, starting with my earliest childhood memory.

An atmospheric sketch I made in Brittany France last May – watercolour/gouache69260072_10157477854895396_666887689538109440_oTen years ago I attended an Adlarian Workshop here in the UK.   The whole experience was good, but the one thing that made an impression and has stayed with me since was the Alarian understanding that we can learn about who we are and what our purpose in life is by acknowledging our earliest childhood memory.

A sketch from a balcony in the beautiful village of Saorge, Southeastern France – watercolour/gouche69855152_10157518440245396_6175012092211363840_oIn many ways I am fortunate to have a visual record of my life journey through sketches/ painting and more latterly writing.        Otherwise given that life seems to move so rapidly, I can see how easily it would be for memories to merge together in a bit of a blur.        Being able to look at sketch books over the years reminds me of all sorts of moments that I know might otherwise have disappeared into the ether and been forgotten…

walking the Brecon Monmouthshire Canal…Crikchowell Wales. – watercolour/gouache20200126_111008The story of my earliest childhood memory.

It was 1949 and my Mother and I were living in Dovercourt Essex.    My Father was still in the Royal Navy on an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean.    I can remember being cold (no central heating at that time – only coal fires).     Even at that tender age I knew that my Mother was not happy, and I can understand why.     Even though the war was over….my father was still away and my young mother was on her own with a small child.

rapid watercolour/gouache sketch from Brecon Monmouthshire Canal overlooking Crickhowell 

39887021_10156586330645396_9141085084848226304_nOne day when playing in the garden, I somehow escaped…and made my way into the centre of the little town where I had seen a beautiful and colourful carousel in the window of a cobbler’s shop.

When the cobbler came out to ask me where I lived, I gave him my Grandmother’s address in Kent…..Meanwhile, my poor Mother was frantic and the police had been alerted.

Dovercourt is a seaside town and where we lived was minutes away from the sea, sometimes a very rough sea…..causing much concern.

Seas and rocks….watercolour/goauche. 20200126_143102When I looked at this incident which was one of my clearest and earliest childhood memories I recognised that Escaping and seeking out the Colourful carousel were indications of my my life story. .

This is the sketch I made during the Adlarian workshop…of the three year old me  in front of the colourful carousel in the Cobbler’s window. 20200126_132619 And just to confirm my ‘escape artist’ tendencies….in this photograph I am wearing my harness and reins…complete with bells:)

til August 10 226

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A Bientôt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t judge a book by its cover……

‘Don’t judge a book by its cover….’

Much like a book cover, all too often we form opinions about someone or their work based on very little information – usually brief meetings, or in the case of visual artists, one painting, exhibition or gallery representation.

In this post, still thinking about how social media has, and continues to play an important part in my life….I want to address the difficulties of being pigeon holed as an artist.         This can happen on the back of one painting, exhibition or gallery representation as well as other people’s assumptions of who you are.

This large oil on canvas (circa 1982) depicts the moment that people turn their backs on one another….(Part of a large series of paintings)Featured Image -- 19828

Making a living as an artist is not easy.     It takes tenacity, courage and a great deal of creativity.     As I look back on my nearly fifty year career I can see that my journey has been eventful, exciting, sometimes desperate, but throughout there has always been the knowledge that I was following the right path.

Despite the difficulties and disappointments along the way, I have, and continue to experience great joy as an artist and will forever be grateful to have chosen this path.

Large oil on canvas (circa 1990) depicting what was one of the most important turning points in my life and career. 

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By the time I painted this self portrait (circa 1990) – I had already learned that to make my way as an artist I would need to adapt to unusual situations and trust in my intuition.    By 1990, sadly my marriage was dissolved and I was left with no money or support.

Refusing to give up my life as an artist, I listened to my intuition and chose to live and work in my West Chester, Pennsylvania, studio, which at that time had no heat or running water.     I learned so much about myself during this period.

Along with giving workshops at the Chester County Arts Association, I began working with Bonnie Paul, a well established art consultant.       Bonnie provided the art work for large corporate entities….and through her I received many commissions.

Part of the studio in West Chester Pa., on Prescott Alley.   By this time I had heat and running water in the building.    

The large still life painting  you can see through the opening was part of a series of work that sold well and paid for renovations, etc.     Scan 74 

What I haven’t mentioned is that I began my career as a ‘wildlife painter’ – and so when I was commissioned to make a fund raising poster for the Philadelphia Zoo of course I jumped at it.    Proceeds from the poster were to contribute towards a new big cat area at the zoo.

Another way to make income and remember this is all before Social media…..

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In 1993, I returned home to the UK and moved to Crickhowell, Wales (the Magical Town of Crickadoon)  where I stayed with my cousin Lyn and her family.    Through Lyn and PJ’s design company, I continued to paint murals and at the same time give workshops. and exhibit. 

I took this photograph last weekend when visiting my cousin Lyn in Cardiff.   Here is Lyn standing in front of a large oil on canvas portrait I painted of. her in 1994. 

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It was during my twelve years in Crickhowell, that I was introduced to the internet.   It was still prior to social media, digital phones/cameras etc….but seeds were being sown and something about it appealed to me. 

It’s important to note that I only use social media to view other artists work and to show my own….I don’t use if for much else, which is why I still probably enjoy it. 

Social media allowed me to show hummingbirds, and all sorts of other work.   Many of my friends on both sides of the Atlantic have noted that social media joined up all the dots…..   In short it got me out of the pigeon hole syndrome…..

Detail from large mural…where I first began to incorporate the hummingbird symbolising the unseen magic in our world.  (circa 1989)30073021_10156254550480396_5015561812048311931_o

This past weekend, I filmed my first web cam demo.   Hopefully within a week or so it will be edited so that I can share with you all.    Another way that social media helps we artists.

For now I wish you all well and send a magical hummingbird.

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A bientôt.