Landscapes – then and now

Landscapes – then and now

As well as looking back over the previous twelve months of creativity (or not as the case has often been) I have also been reading through my Unearth Gather Create journal and reflecting on the whole process of this amazing ecourse. Having read my initial angsty ramblings I realise what I hard time I give myself about everything (I’m my own worst enemy and critic!!) and also what high expectations I have of myself. Having read back on journal entries from nearly two years ago I have realised how much this ecourse has helped me to focus on what I want to do next. Gillian has the knack of getting us to ask ourselves really important questions and in discovering the answers to mine I know how I want to continue down my creative path. Since starting this course so mucb has fallen into place for me and I realise that my current direction into landscapes isn’t something new, its been something which has been with me from the beginnings of my creative journey, something which has never been far away, and something I have always felt passionate about. It just took and ecourse and a lot of reflection for me to realise…. Let me explain….


Way back in 2010 before I even started my creative business I was working away in my studio, making my art following on from completing my Foundation course in Art and Design, exploring and experimenting with a wide variety of media. It was my hobby. I had no expectations of myself, never thought too much about what I was doing and why and I just enjoyed the process.  Initially I used my sewing machine a lot, my final course show was based on free machine embroidery, my first commission was a set of free machine embroidered wedding stationery and looking back, my first selling fair was very textile based. I collected threads, silks and wools and worked on layered textile landscapes which I started to frame up and sell. This period of exploration was great fun and I loved using different media, enjoying the process of learning more about what I was interested in.

I knew I wanted to pursue a creative business idea and when I got the opportunity to go and get some free business advice I took all of my work along with me. My illustration work was by far the most popular so this is what I decided to concentrate on, feeling a little bereft as I left my landscapes behind but knowing that this would lead me down the commercial route of selling more of my work. I spent more time working on my inky illustrations, building my business and this is what became known as my signature style.


Originally I had planned to still be able to spend time on work that was just for me, the atmospheric landscapes, the work that came from my heart, I had decided to keep for myself, and my work somehow became divided into head vs heart/soul 9work I knew would be commercial and work I would do just for myself). But ofcourse, that never happened… I dedicated all of my time to illustrative birds, houses and trees. Black and white, precise and detailed. This work still has a special place in my heart and it is work I will continue to make but I don’t want to be defined by it. I want to get back to the heart of my work, something that will nourish my soul, the landscape which continues to inspire me. I’ve been craving colour and texture for a long time and now I know it’s time to get back to that, making art for myself, being inspired by what’s in my heart. Looking back in my older work I can see common threads in what I made then and the work I want to make now, and taking part in the Unearth Gather Create ecourse had helped me to see those connections. It has helped me to distil the essence of what I want to pursue and the tools with which to do it. I feel like I have found the answers to so many questions I’ve been asking myself for so long and feel uplifted and excited by the possibilities…. I’m patiently exploring and loving the process