I was born in Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire in November 1943. In Shrewsbury Art School I acquired a dress design diploma in 1962 whilst there I also studied art and architecture history, life drawing, painting and pottery. Next I acquired secretarial qualifications and I worked in London and in Central Africa in local government as a PA. By 1982 I had returned to London and whilst working on local recruitment in the Personnel department of the Canadian High Commission via Ou at City Lit I became an IPM member (now CIPD). Although as a trainer I was involved in changing people’s behaviour I changed career and in the mid-80s acquired additional computer training qualifications. For 15 years I worked countrywide as a self employed IT trainer
Four years ago after a 40-year gap I again took up painting and life drawing. On this site I am exhibiting snippets of my life’s work as an artist, including two sheets of dress designs which escaped my destructive fury at being rejected by St Martin’s at the end of a successful course at Shrewsbury art school. The suit I designed and made to submit for my exam but I rarely wore it because it didn’t match my beatnik style handbag (kettle) and my grannies black ankle boots. How we change from art school life where I always wore black now I ban it from my wardrobe because, like white, it is becoming to only the young and beautiful. Since I am neither!
I show my work from 1960 to 62, which is scenes of my circle of family, friends and fellow art students at the breakfast table is an example of paintings that were to be described as ‘Kitchen Sink’, simply because they showed everything, “even the kitchen sink”, We art students moved our focus from the studio to the kitchen, the kind of kitchens ‘in which ordinary people cooked ordinary food and lived their ordinary lives’. Kitchen Sink painters celebrated the everyday life of ordinary people implying a social if not political interest. You quickly learn I was raised on a farm. In 2008
I also exhibit work done after I retired from Shrewsbury to Brighton and began painting using Gouache for still life as I had been taught in 1960. I joined pensioner’s art classes, where I was introduced to acrylic which I didn’t take too, not elite enough for me . So I moved on to another group where the tutor introduced me to watercolours. Such a challenge; no black or white paint! I now exhibit watercolour paintings of flowers together with examples of life drawing. However as with my working life I still seek a challenge and I have discovered Katie’s group where she teaches encaustic painting. I now find myself cheating on watercolour with my new favourite medium, encaustic. Encaustic paint is made from pure pigment and a mixture of molten beeswax and damar resin. The paint is applied hot with a variety of tools, then cools and hardens within seconds. The most amazing thing about encaustic, is the endless versatility. Multiple layers of paint and clear wax create overlapping colour and amazing depth. The medium can be textured, scraped, incised, etched, combed, embossed, sculpted into three dimensional bits or smoothed to a glassy finish. Since beeswax is compatible with oil paint, oil pigment sticks can be used to glaze in rich colour or to fill in incised markings.. Although it is new to me , encaustic is actually one of the world’s most ancient and archival painting mediums, predating oil paint. The Fayum portraits from Grego-Roman Egypt, circa 100 B.C. to 200 A.D., have survived through the centuries. Encaustic was a lost art until pioneer Jasper Johns began contemporary encaustic painting in 1954, exposing it to a new generation of artists. Encaustic painting requires very particular materials and equipment like heat guns, blow torches, tacking irons, crock pots and electric griddles. I ‘m afraid the first time I used my heat gun I set off the fire alarm. I have promised my brother I will not buy a blow torch.
Like training I start with bite size chunks so I am beginning with card size abstract and show example of my first efforts