My story starts way back when Summers were always hot and the snow in winter always deep. In 1970 I popped out into the world. My earliest memories are of long walks in the countryside with my parents, holding Dad's hand as he showed me wild flowers and taught me the wonders of the outdoors, he was David Attenborough to me back then, an encyclopedia of knowledge about the Natural World....still is, I'm very glad to say.
My early years spent at school were playing kick can and 50 Up, with the odd lesson thrown in for good measure. I found myself to be quite a good learner and as I grew and progressed I found I had a natural talent for English, but also for art. As I studied my passion for stories, my imagination always on overdrive, grew and grew and I eventually took both subjects at A level standard. I actually got C in fine art - so never fear budding art students.....it's not the end of a career. It was the start of the path for me.
Thanks to my Mum and dad, my 2 sisters and coupled to many wonderful camping holidays spent in Norfolk, no TV, no gadgets or mobile phones, we spent many happy summers foraging for shell fish, long walks on the beach and countryside trying to catch butterflies, I felt a strong need to express my love of nature through drawing...
My early attempts litter my parent's house and their encouragement made me practice and practice. I would paint our dog, a doberman always a reluctant model, but he was always pacified with the odd treat. I went to work in a garden centre as my first real paid job. I qualified as a florist, again my love for nature and flowers a strong guiding force in my future career.
The birth of my son in 1998 made me re evaluate, as I was able to take a break from work and concentrate on him, but also it gave me just the right poke to pick up the brushes and paint again. And boy did I paint! Cats, dogs, horses, cows, landscapes, you name it I painted it. I also found other people liked my work too, they even paid for it, how did that happen? As if by fate a local gallery owner was looking for a featured artist (mainly someone to work the weekend shifts) and so I packed all my portfolio and set off.
To cut a long story short, and I do waffle I do apologise, I ended up owning the Gallery for the next 16 years, very happy plodding on, unaware of what my potential could ever be. My love for painting highland cows started then and I've been painting them ever since.
My life took a turn and I decided with my now partner and best friend Toby, to close the gallery due to buying trends moving towards the internet, and we made the jump from real shop to virtual shop just over a year ago. We now are able to live our lives running around the countryside as I did when I was younger - he too, a mirrored upbringing as we found each other again (we first met at primary school, just 8 years old with bruised shins climbing trees and putting insects in each other's hair) He has the same love for the natural world and luckily for me, he's very good at wildlife photography and shares the same kind of encyclopaedic brain my dad has.
Today we share our adventures with you all as we seek out otters in England, eagles in Scotland, kayake down the river to see the wildfowl up close in Wales, and take our caravan out with our 2 dogs and move our office when we choose to find the wildlife we both love. I paint what he captures on camera or from that place in my imagination that's always packed full of bright colours.......and the rest, as they say, is History...xx