How it all began…….I wanted to study art. However, growing up in Yorkshire,in the miners’ strike, you didn’t do that! You had to have a sensible job. At 16, my careers teacher, (you had one then), didn’t think girls should be thinking outside of the area. He thought I could be a hairdresser. Really, with eczema! He suggested nursing. My parents were both nurses and it was not for me. I had heard enough about hospital dramas over the dinner table. It was like an oral Casualty every night!
I stayed in the sixth form and studied the sensible subjects eg English. It came in useful. I taught it for over 30 years but art was inside me. Luckily, I sketched and built stage sets. Art on a huge scale. I enjoyed creating Deadwood, Fagin’s den and a Beauty School. I found ways of creating art links in my lessons. Art in religion, set designs, creating masks, reading pictures, links to poetry, media studies to name but a few. Again, I was lucky when I filled in timetable gaps teaching art. That went extremely well, particularly exploring Gaudi, Hockney and Impressionists. I continued to teach art, along with English, Drama and RE.
Teaching art kept me sane in the frantic world of education. For my hard work and dedication to the profession, I became Head of Department to three subjects, rose through the senior leadership and then became a Headteacher. Art kept me sane there too!
You never switch off being a teacher, no matter what role you are. It isn’t an easy profession. However, team work helps. It’s important to have good people with you and time to relax, even if you are thinking of how to engage a pupil or how to deal with another financial problem. Gardening helps, walking too and art.
Anyway a long story but in the ever changing world of education, I decided that I should follow my dream and be more creative with my time. After all, I had told pupils to do just that…follow their dream. So I was doing what I said; walking the talk.
I wasn’t sure if people would like my work. What is it with women and creatives that they put themselves down? Thankfully, I saw an invite on Twitter to join the Claremont Hotel, Hove to show art in the May Open Houses. I answered and I shared my endeavours with the clientele and art lovers. Great feedback, especially from one little girl.
It’s funny how children can say something which inspires. She liked the brush strokes and colours. That meant so much and gave me the confidence to continue. If you can bring happiness to just one person then go for it.
Now I paint, print, sketch or walk for ideas. Every day is a joy.