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Come on in!

Hello! Thanks for coming to find out more about me, my art and studio life. I am fascinated by people's creative spaces and how their personalities come through in the art, materials and objects that they choose to have around them.

My studio is my sanctuary and an extension of me. Hundertwasser wrote about the layers of ourselves, starting with our soul, our skin, clothes and homes. I love that I get to curate all of those. I thought you might like to take a peek....

In July's Artists and Illustrators magazine, there's a feature about garden studios and I was asked to contribute. It made me tidy up (!) and appreciate my studio as both sanctuary and work room and all that I am able to do in there. It works as a space for filming my online art courses, creating my mixed media artwork and as a library of resources with books and magazines and a space for processing ideas surrounded by my works in progress and pin boards. I also pack and wrap orders here and if there's a moment, I sit and look at the garden and meditate.

There is something so compelling about looking at other people's studios. It is like being able to see inside someone's brain. The creative space is an extension of our art, our personality and an embodiment of thought processes. Mine is eclectic, curated without much thought, ever evolving. As with our art, we can look at others and think, "I want my art to be like theirs" but the life lesson is to be able to accept your own uniqueness, your own mess or tidy streak. I admire the studios of those whose process is so honed that nothing looks out of place. Perhaps one day I will know myself well enough for that. In the meantime I am learning to appreciate the clutter and the juxtapositions of developing work.

When I run my art courses, there is often a sense that people want to get away from themselves, to draw differently, create in a new way. I hope to encourage brave authenticity, acceptance of the building blocks that have led to now-here. However hard we try to mimic, we always end up making it our own and we can see that as a sign of weakness rather than strength. I think we get sold the idea that we need to constantly be striving to be better versions of ourselves. I was considering when I take a photo of a new haircut to the hairdresser and she gives me what I ask for - but I am disappointed because really what I wanted was the model's face!! So much of life is coming back to ourselves again and again, tweaking the details as we go around, learning to be who we are - temperamentally, looks, and creative talents and outlook.

In my studio, the chair that couldn't be parted with, the paints inherited, the box that stored Grandma and Grandpa's cutlery - all add to the story and safety of creating a studio that is welcoming for my artist's soul. It's important to me that I have time to rearrange the elements and have space for projects to be left on the go so that I can utilise spaces in the week for making. It's peaceful in there. We can't all have a She-Shed but I think we can all carve a space - a small table top, a book shelf, to collect pieces that are meaningful to us and connect our outer and inner worlds. Think of it like a table of treasures. It might not match the furniture but we need to gather, curate and express ourselves - a nature table to our own nature. I have various clutter spots around my home, and a small altar outside the studio for birds eggs, feathers, seed pods and pebbles.

Whatever your creative output we need creative input. There's something powerful to me in gathering - drawing, art, books, magazines, yarn supplies, art materials - filling up the well. Trust that strands will come together and lead you down the path of your creative flow. Give yourself permission to take the time to do this and make a space in which you can be uniquely you.

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