When did you know you wanted to be an artist? At 16 years old.
Why did you not follow the dream then? Unemployment rife in the North. Needed a secure job. Played schools as a child…..so naturally I became a teacher!
Did you give up on your dream? No, I kept being creative by teaching art and drama, creating set designs, writing school plays. Painted as a hobby for my own well being.
When did you become an artist full time? In my 50s.
Why then? After an interesting life, including surviving breast cancer, and fulfilling other dreams of being a Head of English Department and ultimately a successful Headteacher. Ironically, the Local Authority restructured and I faced redundancy. Having been through .the breast cancer I made the decision that life is too short, so took the plunge and here I am: an artist.
Where do you create your work? Bip-Art , Kemptown a community of printers where I print larger works using Victorian printing presses. For smaller print work and paintings I work in my garden studio, which I built with the redundancy money.
Have you had any formal training? I have learnt from numerous teachers, through workshops and by teaching myself. I am a lifelong learner and still learning. You can’t teach work from the heart and soul and that’s what I do.
Where do your ideas come from? Sometimes, I wake up and I have to draw my dream. Then I decide whether it’s a painting or carving. Some paintings and wood reliefs are inspired by walks and travels. I sketch, take photographs and then create back in the studio. Sometimes, I hear a story, such as swimming with turtles and then that inspires a series of work.
Why do you create your work? Each piece of work brings joy and inner peace to me. I want to bring joy to the viewer and create a piece for your home that brings you happiness.
Do you take commissions? Yes, recently painted a private garden, a sunflower woodcut and a favourite view. People can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on Instagram allisonart.org. This starts the conversation on your idea, choice of materials, size, colours etc. It’s a joint process and one we share every step of the way together.