I am in the throes of preparing for Derbyshire Open Arts which is happening this bank holiday weekend. There are 6 new paintings upstairs laid out in my studio, with the varnish drying and I’m about to measure out a 9ft x 6ft space on the floor of my living room so I can plan the layout for how I am going to show my works.
Love of Art
This year I’ve decided to tell the story of my development as an artist in the work I plan to show. I’ve been painting consistently for about the last 8 years now. This began with a holiday workshop in the Isles of Scilly with modern impressionist painter Imogen Bone. It rekindled a love for art that had been dormant for about 10 years. The last time I had a long period of creativity was when I was running a small craft business with my first husband. After my marriage broke down there had been a long gap whilst I was off training to be a psychotherapist, and once qualified busy building up my practice. I had reached a point of recognising that whilst I do find my therapy work to be creative I began to feel like I wanted a different experience in my life and that that I wanted to express my creativity in other ways.
After the workshop in the Scillies I started painting again in earnest. Over the last eight years I have undertaken workshops with a variety of artists, explored new techniques and materials through reading, watched a whole load of YouTube videos and pretty much designed my own programme of self development. My paintings reflect my expanding interests. I moved from painting in oils, to using acrylics, and then to mixed media. Throughout this time there has also been a movement towards firstly loosening up as an artist, and them becoming increasingly interested in abstraction.
All this culminated in my being introduced to art2life by Alice Sheridan and then signing up for the Creative Visionary Path (CVP) this spring with Nicholas Wilton. It’s a 12 week online programme with literally hundreds of artists from around the world all taking part. It includes weekly videos, coaching and an online community. We work through a series of principles and ideas that provide a structure to allow each artist to develop their own unique style and connect with their personal and authentic expression. It’s been a totally amazing experience that is not yet over. I have access to all the online materials for the rest of this year, and I know my development will continue. I have also made some wonderful new friends and connections through the community aspect of the programme.
My art has undergone a revolution. I feel like I am beginning to find my authentic voice and I now I have way to express this. There is no doubt that CVP is transformational learning at its best. I have been challenged in terms of what I thought I knew about painting and what I thought I knew about myself. It’s the latter that has been so significant as I have identified how some of my self-limiting beliefs have been present in my work as an artist. The recognition of these beliefs in my work has enabled me to move beyond them to new ways of self expression. As a therapist I have already done shed loads of personal development and I can confidently say that in some ways this course has been as impactful as my original training to be a therapist.
So, the first results of this new direction will be with me this coming Bank Holiday weekend. I’m exhibiting with 7 other artists and you can find us at the Spring Bank Arts Centre, New Mills.
I’d love to meet you and show you what I’ve been up recently along with lots of my earlier work charting my journey.
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