Surfacing – 2019


a journey in abstracts

I have been an artist for five years, a choice I had made just prior to my diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. For all of those five years I have primarily worked as a felt maker and textile artist.

In 2017 I published a book of poetry which charted my journey of the previous 17 years,’ Lines from an unfinished love song’. Just as I was completing that book I felt a strong urge to paint on one of my sleep disturbed evenings. I noted it but did not act. This happened several times over a period of weeks, before finally it could be ignored no longer.

I bought paints and canvasses and simply began to paint what I felt, in the moment, using black canvasses to reflect my mood and metal leaf to represent me as an energy. I didn’t use brushes as my hands shook too much, so I began with an old bank card.

Each painting told a story, which I wrote when the canvas and I had finished our conversation. I was also interested in how the paintings spoke to others, what the images invoke and how they might paint their story?

I invited people to touch the paintings, if they felt the urge, as the texture was as important at the colour in some.

The collection of paintings represented me surfacing as a painter, as well as surfacing from five years of a punishing mental health condition, which could affect any one of us. My recovery continues and believe my painting journey will too

I have a studio in North Shields, which is open by appointment. For the remainder of the week I can be found at Happy Planet Creative Arts in Whitley Bay, where I am the resident artist in an award winning social enterprise gallery representing thirty other local artists in a variety of mediums.