I was born in Hereford to a Welsh mother and English father and I have lived in several different English and Welsh towns during my life. I studied for a degree and PhD in Medieval History at Cardiff University in the 1980s and 1990s and I have lived and worked in Swansea since 1998.
All my life I have loved being creative – whether it was drawing and sketching as a teenager, drawing with oil pastels and screen print-making in my 20s and finally focusing on photography and oil painting in adult life.
Things changed for me in 2012. I was involved in a car accident that was relatively minor event in itself but the consequences that rippled out from it threatened to overwhelm me. I developed PTSD and suffered burn-out from working as head of department in a very stressful job. The wheels came off the trolley. It was stunned to find myself falling apart in a very disconcerting way. I could not work. It took a long time to recover. It fact it took a year to return to my job, and that was in a part-time role. No longer head of department. It was tough and most people did not know what to say to me. I would say that it has taken me 5 years to feel relatively “normal” again.
A crucial part of that recovery process was painting. In the first 6 months of my illness I could do nothing. I tried to keep busy but I could hardly make it to the shops. I was overwhelmed with exhaustion. The world terrified me. My hobbies and interests all fell away from me. Seeing a couple of therapists who used EMDR therapy was a turning point for me. In August on 2012, I picked up my paint brush and started painting. Every day. All day. Day in day out. I haven’t stopped since. Painting calms and soothes me.
I have always been open about my mental health although not everyone is sympathetic or understands the long term consequences . To cut a long story short, I am currently a full-time professional artist. I paint most days. My work focuses on light and colour. Whether I paint rural landscapes, urban streets, seacapes or figurative work. I like to paint people walking around in their everyday lives. Painting moods, anticipations and atmospheres. Creating presence and pathos. I notice things that others miss. I am fascinated by details and relationships.