A little bit more about me

Lets talk drawing!

Entry for the Twitter Art Exhibition 2017!

I’ve always had a bit of a pull towards the arts.  In school I really wanted to study art at GCSE but couldn’t due to classes clashing with PE.  At the time, I had decided to go into PE teaching so it made sense for me to drop the art.  I dabbled with sketches and doodles but never really took it seriously.  I spent a lot of my time on stage in Dance Dramas which led me onto uni.

I went to The Northern School of Contemporary Dance, Leeds, in 2000 to study my BPA Degree and I started painting in my spare time.  My room had art stuff everywhere as well as guitars, recording equipment and some ratties!  I painted models from Games Workshop, so had them drying in various nooks and crannies, and then had various sized canvases scattered around.  I painted abstract work because I couldn’t paint realistic but simply enjoyed creating.

 

Acrylic painting of a windmill on the Norfolk Broads

It wasn’t until 2012 that I did my first drawing which actually turned out looking like it should have and “Bruce” was created!  This started a spark that drove me to keep drawing and learning.

Great white shark drawn in pencil.

I did a 10 week life drawing course at Leeds Met Uni, which really helped to improve my perspective and introduced me to charcoal and different drawing techniques.  I started drawing more and more, and when I moved into my current job with the Ambulance service I eventually started doing pet portrait commissions.

July 2016 saw me begin a Pet Portrait Diploma with the London Art College and this has introduced me to different mediums and many challenges.  I have found a love for pastels and am intrigued by oil paints!  I don’t think you ever stop learning but it may take me a number of years to grasp oils!

Before I started drawing

My plan had been to go into Contemporary Dance as a career.  I was slightly hooked with the dance company DV8 at school and college, many thanks to my PE teacher Nikki Chandler, with “Strange Fish” the piece that captivated me, but things didn’t quite turn out as expected.  Injuries started to surface at Uni and I felt that something was missing – there was a candle that needed lighting but I couldn’t find the matches……I couldn’t settle with anything I was doing with dance, but I did find some focus in music and art.

After uni I had numerous jobs working in admin, post rooms, bars and offices before joining a friend’s dance company, Slanjayvah Danza.  There I helped create not just the dance pieces but also posters, t-shirts and leaflets.  I loved it!  But alas I couldn’t financially continue it so moved onto other work and tried to find a niche again.

Once again I was flitting between jobs – I worked at a secondary school first in the main reception office, moved onto be a teaching assistant and then Year 7 Student Support Mentor.  I then became a motorbike courier and I now work for the ambulance service.

I had always thought I would find the “career” after leaving uni but it would seem life has been having me meander every which way up to now.  It’s obviously been trying to teach me something!  Finally the candle is lit and I can start to truly focus and gain something from my art.

 

What doth the future hold?!

I’m currently doing a tonne of reading and research with an Awesome Marketing Planner and a Crafty Business School, set up by the lovely Claire Mitchell, with the plan of learning all about this business malarky.  I want to take this from “hobby” to “business” but there is much to learn, oh so much!  So there have been many changes on here and social media sites and a load of stuff in the background which will lead me to being able to give up the “proper job”, or at least cut it down, so I can put a whole heap more energy into my drawings. It’s going to be a slow process, it would be rude to rush these things, but maybe the future holds a full time art job, with an artists retreat in the hills, surrounded by forests somewhere close to the sea?!  Who knows what the future holds…….

 

Hobbies

I love my motorcycle.  I own a TL1000S.  She is a beauty!  However, I miss the roads and journeys I had found in Yorkshire.  I’m hoping to find some now I’m down south – any suggestions of where to ride would be greatly appreciated!

I’m also slightly addicted to rock climbing.  You can often find me indoors at the wall in Basildon Sporting Village, The Reach in Woolwich or some place outdoors.  I would highly recommend this sport.  Not only are the people awesome but the workout is too!

Reading – anything fantasy fiction based!  Something to stir the imagination and help me lose myself in another place….

Gardening.  It is harder than it looks to plant, grow and actually get something that resembles anything you can eat! My Pinterest page has some articles of interest for the green-fingered.

 

Want to stay in touch?

My NEWSLETTER is sent once every couple of months with updates and articles you may find of interest with my journey into the world of art and animal portraiture.

 

 

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