“To begin at the begining” … or how it all started in Jude’s words
“Yes, this section is going to be peppered with quotes , you can search them yourselves if you like, and find the whole behind the few words or lines. All these quotes have a long and meaningful relationship with me over the years, from angsty teenager onwards to my current ‘grow old disgracefully’ age!
In 2013 I underwent a (*warning !!here comes an overworked phrase) life changing epiphany!! Sounds hackneyed eh? Well not to me.
A long, sustained and unrelenting period of a stressful lifestyle, full time job, demanding social commitments and being a full time carer for my husband finally got me … and I didn’t crack in one spectacular episode, more like a slow, grinding war of attrition over the years, gradually failing at being everything, wife, sister, friend, work colleague .. and mostly failing at being me ……….
So … time out ………… the only thing I could run away from was work and million pound targets……… luckily my doctor and employers recognised what had finally happened and I was signed off work with stress related illness.
Backtrack two months….. we had decided to get a garden shed … I painted it and made it quite girly …. my husband, Baz, then gave it to me!! So I had a girl cave ………. for two months solid, after I was signed off, I got up and went to my shed (now dubbed the Shedouir by Baz) and started drawing and painting …. something I had never attempted before … only coming back into the house when calls of nature and feelings of guilt and neglect of man and beasts (well two soft Siamese cats) overwhelmed me … these attended to – back to Shedouir and the wonderful world of watercolour ……… what a medium to start with !!
Day after day, 9,8,7 hour days…. gradually getting shorter as it got colder and darker …… I could ‘paint’ with 5 layers on, 2 hot water bottles, a camping heater and several blankets, but not without light (no electricity in Shedouir).
In a moment of clarity I realised that I was fulfilling a long buried, lifelong dream … to paint!
Suddenly, here I was .. my hopes, my fears… my dreams …
“I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”
And so this is where I started …. I retired, supported by some wonderful people, in particular my husband, sisters, dear friends and a special lady I am lucky enough to call friend, mentor, teacher and the little devil on my shoulder, Alison Fennell, and started a new path in life …. “bloody but unbowed”…………. here I am …. hoping to rock the world … all I can say to anybody who has no hope, and thinks things can’t get darker ….
“Leap, and the net will appear”
… I have, and the net is woven from the threads of the love, support and encouragement of my family and friends .. and I cannot thank you all, enough, ever …. but you have enabled me to grasp a dream and try to make it real … and if one day I can rock your world with a painting …well, thank you for believing in me …..”