Hi I’m Debbie and here is my story…
I have painted watercolour for a long time, I remember joining classes around the millennium at which time I was involved in running a craft group called Made Specially. At this time I wanted to paint for myself, it was a relaxing hobby and I did a little teaching of watercolour techniques and encaustic art to the craft class but it was not something I ever dreamed of doing, I wasn’t good enough or so I thought… I was the academic one, my mother and sister were the creative types.
So I started a degree… that’s what academic types do and learning and giving myself a challenge was what I needed, what I loved. I was interested in music and wanted to understand how it worked so I started a Humanities Degree where I learnt to analyse music and have a thorough understanding of it. So with the Open University I studied music, I really enjoyed it but needed further modules for my degree, I had always written poetry and decided to finish my degree with creative writing and I loved it. I found I was way better at creative writing than music, what I enjoyed most was how it increased my creativity. There were lots of exercises to free you up and help you observe whilst giving information on technique and form.
I got my degree a BA Hons Humanities with Music and Creative Writing and thought, now I have time to paint. I joined a watercolour class with Sue Chatterton (she runs a watercolour class in our village) and I started to paint… a lot… I found that despite not having done much that somehow I had improved, I was curious as to why and realised that lots of the creative activities I had been doing in the writing course were relevant to the art and my observation had also improved. I was very excited by this and started to experiment, doing lots of research using new materials and matching compositions to them, as with the music there was a lot to understand. I started to paint with acrylic and to collect water based media.
People started to ask me to show them how I paint and my art class was born. I had a chat with Sue and she was very supportive, we would be operating out of the same place and she thought it was good for us to work collaboratively, our relationship changed and we became friends.
Following Sue’s example I have recently started working closely with another artist Lydia Watkin. We now do commissions together and this term she is running a drawing and sketching group within my class… this is great leading up to the Summer and what I think of as sketch season.
I run individual workshops as well as the art classes which focus on the use of different materials in a step by step environment and Lydia and I are doing joint sketch to paint workshops combining Lydia’s strong drawing and sketching skills with my knowledge of materials and creative exercises.