🐴 Louis of Cadbury Lane is a pony who lives alone in a field full of dandelions and other weeds near us at the end of a track in rural Wiltshire which my son named when he was about 5. Louis is always there – I don’t remember a time when he had been taken out for a ride or a walk, so he attracts a lot of attention and kindness from dog walkers and passers by like us, who want to make a fuss of him and feed him apples and polos. He has captured many people’s hearts, and I was inspired to paint him.
🧵 This was an act of kindness from one fellow artist to another. A fellow art can artist saw my work after I had gone home and suggested this change. The artists sent me a drawing to see what I thought. A suggested change to an install, kindly suggested and warmly received.
💬 As part of a daily ritual I have developed an episodic called ‘Thoughts On Walks’ where I note thoughts, occasions and encounters of significance. This episode was one such occasion where kindness inspired Artistic action.
The 24th August is significant for me, not least because it is my father’s birthday anniversary and I will naturally recall him on this day every year, as long as I live. This 24th however, in his memory, I decided it was time to celebrate the day, which just so happened to coincide with the unveiling of an exhibition named ‘Unrolled’ on ‘Tape Art’ – featuring the work of Adrian Dittert! – a medium I’d discovered during lockdown, which drew some lovely parallels to collage. Little did I know that on rocking up to the joint The Bomb Factory in Covent Garden I would encounter the founder Cre8tapes and the Artist himself. Being the first visitor to the gallery, I got to have an in depth chat with them both about this relatively new medium and approaches to it. I was also honoured to walk away with an incredibly generous gift of 20+ tapes to play with! If you’re Artist you’ll feel me! Free materials!!!
On arriving home, I sat down with my tapes wondering what I could do with them. After all, I loved the idea of helping spread the word about this new medium and putting my free gifts to good use. However, I felt restricted by the dimensions of the tape itself and was curious about larger adhesive sheets which lent themselves better to cutting free form shapes from. Days past and an exhibition opportunity arrived on my doorstep involving creating art on envelopes revolving around the topic of ‘Changing Perspectives’. Perfect! The dimensions and topic felt right! I immediately got to work with the tapes and before I knew had come up with 11. I donated (x2) which will not be revealed until the exhibition, Brain Appeal, literally sending a message of hope to the families and patients diagnosed with a neurological condition.
🥋 When I was 14, my sister and I did karate with the renown painter Michael Parkes at a dojo on the Costa del Sol. If my sister couldn’t come, he would offer to pair up with me, as being the only two girls in class, none of the boys would even talk to us.
Occasionally, if I was passing by their flat in the square, I’d ring up and his wife would let me into the studio where he was painting, with instructions to be very quiet. He let me just sit there and occasionally would explain what and how he was painting. One technique that always stayed with me, was how he would make dappled rocks.
My work is in no way like Michael’s, but he inspired my love of texture. I now know how irritating and distracting it can be to have someone watch you paint, so I am very grateful for his kindness! Blood Mountain is my work based on the on ancient religions belief that mountains were where the gods lived and the life blood of the world. Made with acrylic, paper, sand and gravel.
🎨 My Time for Kindness story is dedicated to my former tutor and mentor Simon Monk. Simon is a highly respected artist painter who despite being extremely busy with his own practice has taken the time out to meet, discuss and advise me on my own practice. He has also been generous enough to photograph my paintings to a professional standard and given me excess materials and encouragement so that I can continue to paint.
I am indebted to him and his benevolence. I want to take this opportunity to thank you Simon for all your help and guidance, I am truly grateful beyond words.
🎉 During lockdown I found my creativity again after a 15 year hiatus, but seriously lacked confidence. As a key worker (in my employee job) I was still required to attend work, and I happened to show one of my colleagues called Juliet, a photo of a painting I was working on. She was super supportive and encouraged me to set up my own business as an Artist and followed my journey by commissioning a painting.
Fast forward approx 18 months and Juliet’s daughter saw an advert for a competition called ‘Moving Art’ for a local residents to submit artwork for a community arts exhibition (which had been paused during Covid). My Peacock Patterns painting was selected and became part of the show; it was lovely to meet the other selected Artists at the public events and PV, which really boosted my confidence as an Artist. Having a love of textiles, I subsequently turned my Peacock painting into a repeat pattern which I transferred onto homewares and fabric. My Mum then helped me to sew some of the products, and the peacock scarf became a bestseller!
The kindness and encouragement shown by Juliet and her daughter brought me so much motivation to continue my journey; the peacock design and my collaboration with my Mum, also brought me many happy opportunities and memories.
This post is in collaboration with ArtCan.