Arts and crafts courses have always played an important part of College life. Many students join their course to create items for themselves, their family and friends. However, some students progress to sell their art to earn a bit of money or to fund their materials for course.
I won an art competition at the age of 6, (I still have the newspaper cutting) with a painting of a church and the congregation. The prize was a few pounds and was presented by Lord Alport in Colchester, where I was living at the time. If not before my love of creativity must have begun then.
At school, growing up I always thought I would like to be a commercial artist, I think the correct term now is graphic designer, but I guess that was not to be.
After school, I worked in retail and as an air hostess, before meeting my husband and starting a family.
As my children began their formal education I decided to train as a beauty and holistic therapist at Huntingdonshire Regional College. After a move to Peterborough I went on to do vocational qualifications in Theatrical and Media Make-up and Fashion and Photographic Make-up at Peterborough Regional College. I was also working for Marks and Spencer within the Beauty Department. In 2004, through the college I entered Warpaint, a National Student make-up competition at Olympia London, which I won for the Catwalk Category.
I believe my love of colour, form and creativity has shown through my choice of subject over the years.
As my family began to become more independent I began to think about art! Flicking through the pages of the City College Peterborough course guide I discovered the Friday oil painting course and signed up. Since then I haven’t looked back!
I’ve been a student at the College for three years and decided to sign up and study towards a formal qualification within my course. That’s the great thing about the course. Students can choose whether they wish to study towards a formal qualification whilst other members of the course simply use the time to practice and improve their art for pleasure.
I am currently half way through my NCFE Level 3 qualification. I love weekly lessons. Being in a room with like-minded people, from different walks of life and various ages is inspiring. Everybody brings something to the table, and I feel that we all learn from each other. The tutors are warm, friendly and encouraging and two and a half hours in the classroom goes by like two and a half minutes.
The College has provided an amazing platform for showcasing my work, with many people working hard to provide fantastic opportunities for presenting my work to the public. Examples of this are the Peterborough Artists Open Studios weekend events that students took part in during June and July this year and the exhibition of arts and crafts in Peterborough Cathedral in May. As a result of these exhibitions and the relevant advertising by the college I have sold a number of works. This is a great confidence boost, and only makes me want to envelope myself in a world of paint and canvas!
I feel my style of work is quite eclectic. I do enjoy taking the traditional route by painting land and seascapes. However I believe my true passion is following a more emotive path, by this I mean taking something for example a song, a feeling or my surroundings, turning that into a picture in my mind and then creating an art form from that. I happen to enjoy the medium of oil paint and canvas the most for now.
I have also been encouraged to enter competitions on a wider scale, which I have done, although no luck so far. Hopefully I will continue to develop my skills, my interpretation and improve, and maybe in the future I will have success and recapture the feeling elation when I won my first prize in art at the age of 6.
I have recently dabbled in ceramics, which was fantastic.
My whole experience with art to date has been nothing but positive. I only wish I had the time and resource to be able to delve deeper, learn more, and ultimately turn my life- long hobby into a full time business for my own pleasure and hopefully that of others too.