What defines us as an artist is often only the finished pieces we exhibit, sell, Instagram or show online. However, what brings us to the point of being confident to “air our smalls”( we often feel very exposed when our work is on public view) is multi-faceted and often extensively time consuming. Creativity is a drug that must be indulged. To neglect that yearning to make or create, the inner drive to produce something, irrespective of whether it is something saleable or if anyone ever sees it, is to deny your born gifts, your inner light, your intuition ignored and crushed. Sometimes it is a burning need when all else is ignored. Inside you feel the glow, the flame as it grows with the satisfaction of just doing. Then of course there are the times of mind numbness and of procrastination.
Welcome to my world, I am self-taught in the use of soft pastels; my preferred medium on paper. It´s velvety softness and immediacy of use appeals to me in my interpretation of the countryside; landscapes, mountain-scapes, flora and fauna, and more recently buildings that are so much part of the culture and history as well as the land. My inspiration comes from the great outdoors, my sheer love of nature and its diverse landscapes in its pure state. I have had several long breaks from painting, each time I was inspired to find my way back to the easel overwhelmed with the breathtaking scenery I find myself immersed in. I am now also working with oils which I am very excited about.
I would however, consider myself predominantly a textile artist.
Silk is just divine to work with and I create one of a kind frameable textile wall hangings in silks as well as other mixed media pieces combining various mediums. These are evolving into highly tactile pieces of unique art that celebrate what I see around me: the humble seaweed, a mermaids purse, a mountain landscape or a gorgeous sunset.
Silk is also the main fabric used in the hats and wrist cuff bracelets that I make in my collaboration with Wildly Created. You can find these along with my silk scarves on our e-commerce site. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see all my latest pieces. Links are here.
As a textile artist, I am drawn to many types of fibres. Wool is perhaps the most ancient of fibres used to create something more usable. My grandmother was a potter and the idea of making pots intrigued me until I tried it and realised it was too rigid for me. Felting caught my eye many years ago when I was in County Galway but I didn’t get it together to try until the autumn of 2022. Oh my was I hooked, it feels like its deep rooted in my DNA. Such an ancient craft, so much a part of many cultures on a primal level for centuries. The ability to create a vessel out of wool using techniques also used for pottery just feels so good. So many gifted felters here and abroad gracefully giving their knowledge, what a gift. I learnt quickly and avidly, creating bowls, vessels and wearable pieces combining other fibres, silks and found objects. This is a love affair for sure.
As a child, I spent many hours out in the fields, walking the lanes where I lived. With a very enquiring mind and a deep interest in all that I see, I learnt the names of so many trees and plants and enjoyed collecting wild mushrooms in the early morning. As an adult, I love wandering the tracks and trails as the seasons change, taking notice of all that grows, buzzes and moves. I spend hours photographing the smallest details just to wonder at them. A huge amount of my inspiration comes from what I observe… and as an artist, observation is key.
I grew up in England, obtained a grade “B” O Level in Art and studied at Plymouth College of Art and Design. I moved to Ireland in 1990 where I lived and brought up my 2 children for 20 years. The Temperate Zone was my first solo exhibition in Ireland where I showed 20 pieces of original soft pastel work.
I find that I fluctuate between paper based artwork and crafts and design processes including dress design, textiles, making bags and wearable art. Certain eras in history have a fascination for me regarding the costumes. I do love fabric as a medium and in particular; silk. I find myself drawn to combining a variety of crafts to create a finished idea.
As a child I was encouraged to hand make all my greetings cards and gifts to give and I learnt how to reuse and repurpose things. All that gave me a basis to be able to create something I could monetise in the tough times, and eventually be able to design and produce just for my own enjoyment as well as fulfilling my inner desire to be doing.
Sometimes I lay in a state of half asleep while a myriad of ideas swim around in my head until they form an exact plan of execution although it can often so easily lost before it gets to paper. But in short, a lot of my design process is done before pencil hits paper, all the details, how to do etc are often figured out in a state of deep restfulness. I am very visual in that respect.
For me the urge to create is primal, failure to succumb leaves me deflated, empty and restless. Although procrastination does sometimes weigh in like for so many artistic and creative people. Then, I will go and immerse myself in nature and look at life from a different perspective, re-connect, re-evaluate, and come back refreshed and with more conviction and hundreds of photographs. Then I may lose myself in a pastel painting for hours and only emerge when it’s considered completed. I am sometimes quite sure I am not in my own body, some other force is at work around me.
As an introvert, I am quite happy in my own world and yet, in the right company, I will converse for hours on interesting topics. As an empath, I try to impart what I feel in my work, especially equine artwork. I like to take my own reference images as it gives me the opportunity to connect with the animal especially with the eyes.
As an artist, designer, foodie and creative being, much of what I observe influences my work. Inspiration too comes from the myriad of places I visit, people I interact with and what I absorb visually in nature. Spending a few hours laid on the cold desert dunes of the Sahara in Morocco, waiting for the first glimpses of the dawn, watching as the sun explodes into a new day inspires me for my silk scarves.
After spending 4 years in Spain then 7 in Morocco for most of the year, life and a six month lockdown threw me a curve ball and I knew it was time to relocate back to the Emerald Isle. Morocco gave me the opportunity to step back, reassess how I wanted to experience life and to challenge myself on many levels.
In these strange times, one has time to reflect, ponder and wonder. Also to rethink and reset the ways of being and doing. There are multiple strands to my life and yet at their confluence is the whole. I feel now is the time to join the dots. Summer 2020; I relocated back to Ireland.
The journey is unknown. The excitement is real.
You can find my work on my Facebook Page, Instagram, Twitter,
Instagram, Website and in many homes around the globe.
This link will take you to all of the online ones:
Everest Touring Exhibition 1992-1993
West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen
Killarney Park Hotel, Killarney
Wellspring Gallery Tralee
Arthive Gallery Cork
Works shown at
West Cork Art Centre 1993,96,97,98,99,00,01,02
Half Door Gallery, Killarney 1994
Pier House Glandore,1994,96,98
The Loft, Swords Dublin 1994-5
Bantry Arts & Crafts Exh. 1995,97
Bantry Art Exh 1998
The Bayberry, Union Hall
The United Arts Club, Dublin 2002
The Celtic Ross Hotel
Beara Arts Festival 2002
And various venues around Cork and Kerry Ireland
Permanent Exhibitions at
Mary Annes Restaurant, Castletownshend
Cara Gallery and Crafts, Leap
Hayes Bar, Glandore
The Glandore Inn
The Wave Maker, Leap
And various venues around Cork and Kerry Ireland
First Solo Exhibition
“The Temperate Zone”
Glebe Gallery, Baltimore 2002
Many works in Private collections around the world including Ireland, US, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Morocco.
Currently showing works at Wild Restaurant, Ballinspittle, Kinsale, Cork.
Took part in the Kinsale Arts Week 2022
Works currently on show at The Boathouse Gallery, Kinsale. July 2022
Silk scarves, felting and mixed media textiles at Scilly Art, Kinsale.