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“EVERYTHING I DO IS INSPIRED BY THE DESIRE WE ALL HAVE TO CONNECT WITH THE WORLD AROUND US.”

I grew up in the 60’s/70’s in Timperley, Cheshire and we had fields, woods and streams within 10/15 minutes walk from our house. From the age of 7 I spent most of my waking hours exploring and playing in this area; often accompanied by my dog.

I was also bookworm. I leant lots about nature- thank you to Ladybird books and the local library. If I wasn’t playing with friends; I preferred to take a book out with me and sit reading it in a field; rather than indoors.

My husband and other people remark on my ability to notice small details in the world around us. I’m frequently the first to notice an animal, bird, insect or plant. Or see different tones in the clouds or the bright speck of a tiny flower at our feet or the changing seasons in the landscape around us. I put this down to how I grew up.

I spent a few summers in South Wales staying with relatives and went to University. I also spent a year studying and living in London before deciding that I wanted to live back in Cheshire as it has so much to offer.

 

 

After a thirty year corporate career the 2008 recession; when I was 50; saw me seeking a change of direction; so I set up my own award winning business. 2013 – 2016 saw a turbulent period. I survived cancer but lost both my parents within 5 months of each other & then nursed my younger brother until 2016. These events changed my focus & rethink what I truly wanted. I’d loved my career & business but now I wanted a change of pace.  But I didn’t want to put retired on the new passport I was applying for!

I had found some time over the years to do the occasional creative evening class or workshop – stained glass, ceramics and since 2013 I’ve been going to studio in Middlewich and creating some fused glass objects and panels.

But not having painted since school I’d always wanted to give painting a try and decided that this was it. The right time. I no longer needed to be constrained by processes; or ”the one right way to do things.”

So I put the word artist down as my occupation even though I hadn’t picked up a brush at that point.  I experimented with different brushes & materials & enjoyed the freedom of mark making. I just did it my way

I love exploring different themes & materials; watercolours, acrylics or mixed media; all linked by a splash of colour. My colourful paintings positively impact other people’s energy & mood when they see them online or at exhibitions.  I now share my joy & passion for art with others & the flexibility of being an artist allows me time to be an ambassador for a local foodbank charity.

I’d been painting about a year when I had a small panel included in Turners Art Shop Exhibition 2017 and later that year I joined a local art club’s evening group and I play an active role. Sometimes delivering the weekly session where we get together and explore a theme or material.

I love my journey from corporate to creative. And in 2019, just 3 years after picking up a paint brush; I created a large piece of public art. You might have enjoyed seeing “My Charming Digital Prince” aka Kerm.IT if you and your family and friends toured the extremely popular Stockport’s Giant Leap Forward Art Trail over summer of 2019. What next on my artistic journey?

Everything I do is inspired by the desire we all have to connect with the world around us.

I believe we are all more connected to nature than we realise. The colours, shapes and forms we see have the power to transform our mood and experience of life wherever we live it.

I just happen to create paintings that add colour, energy and joy to our lives and reconnect us to our wonderful planet.

 

I had found some time when working to enjoy the occasional creative pastime. I’d had fun making stained glass and ceramics at some local evening classes in the 90’s. Since 2013 I’d started going to a studio in Middlewich and creating some fused glass objects and panels.

But not having painted since school I’d always wanted to give painting a try and decided that this was it. The right time.

I no longer needed to be constrained by processes; or ”the one right way to do things.”

I started with watercolour and painted 52  individual cards to give for Christmas 2016 before moving onto to larger pieces of paper and also canvases.  It remains my favourite medium and as you will see there is nothing wishy washy about the way that I apply. But I am adaptable and if a client desires a more delicate painting I can adjust my palette accordingly.

I love exploring different themes & materials; and over the years I’ve taken lots of photographs  that I can use as initial reference  or jumping off pints

I also like to paint with acrylic paints or combined these; or watercolours; with other materials as mixed media paintings so that there is texture and detail in the surface.

I think that the year I spent doing my own thing at home before connecting with other artists was really liberating.  I wasn’t being influenced by other people so avoided any feedback that “watercolour is really difficult to do“. It is what it is and I enjoy it’s sometimes unpredictable qualities.

I still mostly paint alone in my studio. But it is good to go out and paint or go to exhibitions or meet up with other arty people and creatives as we share a mutual interest and passion.

My first art sale came via a post I had put up on social media about a painting that I’d had fun creating and how I had come to paint it.

The post was shared by a couple of people. One week later I received a message from a stranger asking to buy it. And it began from there.

Initially as a hobby but as I paint a lot it is good to see my paintings go to new homes; or my home would be very cluttered with artworks. There are some that will always remain in my personal portfolio but I can paint different versions of them as commissions.  No two artworks are ever exactly the same and I love that aspect

As I am gaining more visibility and have raised my profile I’m classed as a growing business by HMRC. So I created a website to show some of my paintings a well as using social media. Some of my past corporate and business experience is really helpful. But I am spending time learning how to run and develop an art business as this is a new sector to me as well as creating the art itself.

A benefit is that being an artist is a role that I never need retire from so that word “Retired” that I wanted to avoid appearing on my passport back in 2016  need never appear on it.

One of the aspects that appeals to me of being an artist later in life is that I don’t have a typical day beyond the fact that every day includes art in some way.

Whether it is creating a painting, going out for a walk with my camera, carrying out activities that raise my profile – such as social media posts, researching exhibition opportunities, meetings – including visiting my excellent printer or the framer that I use. Or following up enquiries and opportunities and getting admin stuff done
Spotting things to add to my very long list of “things to paint later”.
Eg. Seeing a child jump in puddles whilst walking past my house with his mother inspired an abstract painting.

I don’t always paint at a fixed time. Although painting in daylight is best; occasionally I’ve been known to start a painting at midnight. Or I might have woken up at 4am in the morning and If I can’t get back to sleep I’ve got up grabbed a brew and started being creative.

I do have a paper diary formatted so I can block out segments of the day over a weekly view. Great for planning especially if I am working on a commission. Or booking in the 1to1 creativity sessions or small group workshops or preparing artwork towards an exhibition submission.

So, I do spend most of my time being actively arty but always find at least half a day or so a week on average to help a local independent charity I support.
I am a Volunteer Ambassador for Chelwood Foodbank Plus and help them with raising their profile and local business connections, find volunteers and fundraising opportunities.

I do enjoy doing commissioned bespoke paintings as I know that these are going to be residing in someone home and that the theme we decided upon together has personal meaning for them. I get a lot of added satisfaction when I see the client’s reaction on unveiling the finished artwork.

Most of my clients are currently within 60 miles of where I live but I do have some from elsewhere around the UK so would like to grow my client base. I created a 2020 Art calendar and for 2021 I have started designing a family planning art calendar so another way for people to enjoy my paintings and I have other ideas too.

Four of my portfolio paintings now reside abroad but my clients have taken them there themselves so I haven’t yet got involved in packing and exporting art abroad myself.

Given the number of paintings I create that go on to form part of my available portfolio I need to expand and raise my profile further to save my house becoming the subject of one of those hoarder next door programmes!

Exhibitions
It’s always exciting, but sometimes a little daunting to put your paintings up for consideration by a panel of professional judges and then the wait for the phone call or email letting you know whether you’ve been selected. But it is rewarding to see them hanging in a gallery and these displays lead to enquiries

2017 / 2018 / 2019 Some of my artwork has been exhibited in various exhibitions including Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery: Wolfgang Webster Art Gallery. Plus local and regional exhibitions/venues around Cheshire. Derbyshire and Manchester.

Currently one of my paintings is on display in the 2020 Manchester Open Art Exhibition – 18 Jan 2020 to 29 Mar 2020 https://homemcr.org/exhibition/manchester-open/ and I will be at other exhibitions in our region over the coming year.

I’m delighted to be working with John-Paul and Sam in their new venture and look forward to meeting new and familiar clients and fellow producers in the Cheshire Quality gallery.

Find some of Louise’s beautiful pieces in our Knutsford store and online at our Marketplace or contact us for private commissions.

Producer Gallery

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