When I was 16 I thought that I’d be “grown up” by the time I was 25. Now I’m on my way to being 51 and I’m not sure that I will ever really be the adult that my 16 year old self imagined. Back then I had thought that I would be a lawyer, probably working in an office, fighting for justice. Well, I did become a barrister, then came to Northumberland to work as in-house counsel for the County Council. At 25 I was working in there in an office, fighting to protect children from abuse.
So how did I get from being that 25 year old grown up lawyer, to this multi-passionate, creative, textile artist and wannabe surface designer? The short answer is that I had a baby when I was 33, who changed my life and career path, and was diagnosed with MS just before the age of 46. In May 2013 I had to retire from working as a trainer for a national charity due to ill health, and in November 2013 I found myself on the City and Guilds level 1 course in Creative Textile Techniques. I’ve always loved fabric – the colours, the texture, even the smell of new cotton – possibly because Irish linen is in my genes. The course was a revelation, and this year I went on to complete level 2. My eyes were opened to a whole new world of creativity and art, which I’m continuing to explore. I’ve found online workshops, short courses, Facebook groups, blogs, and websites that all fire my imagination and make me want to try new things. One of my favourite websites is Daisy Yellow Art, by Tammy Garcia. Tammy has a gift for creating a safe virtual space to try out new art techniques, and I’m participating in her ICAD 2015 art challenge from 1st June to 31st July. The challenge is to create a small piece of art on an index card, no bigger than 6″x4″. It is not a competition; it is time for creativity every day. There are themes and prompts, which you can choose to follow or do your own thing, and online places to share photos of your work. I’ll be posting mine here as I do them.