Becoming an artist was my lifetime ambition since winning a national Christmas Card competition, with my drawing of an angel, at the age of five.

I remember going through piles and piles of ‘computer paper’ at home whilst growing up, constantly drawing, painting, copying, colouring, and creating things.

It was by far my favourite subject at  school, where I was the student chosen to win the ‘Elles’ art prize at GCSE level, and then going on to obtain an A grade at A level.

As time went on I realised that a career as an artist was not a realistic career choice though.

I was persuaded to follow an academic direction, and I still regret opting out of my art foundation interview at the last minute, instead choosing to do a degree in Zoology. Fortunately I did not get the right grades, so after a year of working as a matron in a public boys school boarding house, where I loved helping out with the art classes in my spare time, I applied for University again. This time it was Art and Psychology, a much better choice, however, I still didn’t expect to leave with a career as an artist.

I found myself in an office job, which taught me very valuable computer skills – but I didn’t really excel at anything there, and was frustrated at the lack of progression and the feeling of being trapped behind a desk. After three years of full time office work I took a trip to Venice with my local art group. The talent of the teachers and members was incredible, and a week in Venice, constantly emerged in painting, was life changing for me. I came back knowing that I had to use my artistic talents.

I launched a range of Venice greetings cards and prints from the watercolours I had produced there, and spent my afternoons carrying out commissions. I also started doing craft fairs and producing more and more cards from my best paintings.

That was almost 16 years ago – having now sold over 14,000 cards, self-published almost 100 designs, carried out more than 100 commissions and taken part in over 100 craft fairs.  I have taught watercolour workshops, carried out one-to-one tuition, taken part in school projects and nurtured my own daughters to love painting as much as me, they often keep me company in my studio doing their own watercolours while I paint huge oil flower landscapes! I feel incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful job that I think I was always destined for.  

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