There and Back Again
My first memories of making art was when I was very young. There was always something to make images with paper, painting, cutting and drawing with my nan.
My favourite was magic books. You painted with water and the pictures appeared. The most important part of making any image, in any medium was holding the finished piece and sharing it with family and friends. I was always encourage to take the next step, what’s next? I was asked. My nan was a seamstress and one of my early jobs was to tidy the bobbin drawer, putting all the bobbins of cotton into a rainbow, matching the shades from light o dark for each colour. All these things made me who I am today.
I also experienced photography and the darkroom when I was young. School holidays in Yorkshire with my uncle and his family. We’d go out at weekends with camera’s and take images, on film. After our evening meal we’d head out to the garage darkroom to explore the days film. Firstly processing and later developing it in the magic trays, adding liquid to get the magic pictures. Photography continued to play a part in my life. Setting up a darkroom in our first house with Peter, who also loved photography and later having my own darkroom at home.
Being encouraged to join a camera club by one of my colleagues at work, I dipped my toe into club photography. Sitting and watching the speakers, slides and prints was a fascinating gloms of what could be done. I plucked up enough courage to enter an exhibition in the beginners section. To my amazement I received an Highly Commended for a wreck on the beach and high scores for the others. The encouragement I received from Keith Sudderby at Southport PS gave me confidence to work my way to the to the A section, represent Southport in External Competitions and enter individual competitions worldwide. The higher, the standard you compete against, the high the standard of work you strive for. The magic of the darkroom still drew me to create the finished images to a high standard.
I did become aware that there was a repetition of compositions and locations, on all levels and wanted to step way from the club image. The inspiration to do this came one night when a speaker came to the club called Rikki O’Neill, that was all the inspiration I needed, adding your own creative style to your photography. This meeting, not only inspired me, but realised the mix of my creative vision and photography. Creating my own style with the never-ending magic of Photoshop which eventually allowed me to gaining my APRS and FRPS in 2008.
All the encouragement and friendship gains through camera club photography has lead me to have one woman exhibitions, be and international award winning photographer with my work in many of the catalogues. I run my own photographic group, which ran a national exhibition. Achieved, Highest scoring worker at Edinburgh International two years in a row. More recently, sharing my texture skill with workshops and to be invited to be a Brand Creative for Hahnemühle Fine Art.
Creativity is something that influences every area of my life, in every way, it’s a need that has to be fed. You can never use up creativity you just grow from one image to the next. I’m inspired by every day life, people I meet and emotions I feel. There’s no preplanning, no sketches, I love the click of the button taking the shot to the last sound of the printer as it produce the print. I only print my work as that’s what they’re created for. It’s fun to play. I enjoy being different and everything I do reflects that.