As a little girl keen on cricket I made sketchbooks of cricketers in action and British wild birds – why those I do not know! At school it was huge murals for the hall at Christmas and scenery for our many school plays then at college I took Art as a subsidiary subject with the intention of offering it when I started teaching. However when I had my first opportunity to do so the Principal told me I must work only in pencil and paper – anything else was too messy for the cleaners! End of my aspirations and any chance of colourful artistic expression for the pupils!
My career teaching Sciences took me from Birmingham to New Zealand and thence, on return, to Surrey for 31 years of which I spent 18 years as a Secondary Headteacher. Very little time for painting except one Adult Education ‘Parent and Child’ class which Kate and I enjoyed immensely, school blackboard work and holidays spent putting Dulux gloss and emulsion on the walls at home! When I retired, knowing my artistic ambitions, the pupils and staff presented me with enough art stuff to open a shop! This has had lots of use at home and in classes, on courses and is now regularly updated with Christmas and Birthday presents! These come mostly from Brian, with whom I live in Chobham, and my daughter, Kate, and three grand-daughters who live in Brookwood.
I am still painting birds but now mostly paint watercolour or acrylic landscapes which I like to do outdoors or from my own photographs. I adore the UK and its unique scenery but we are also able to travel abroad a lot and I am always searching for that ‘wow’ picture. We are very conservative in our choice of destinations and only do Northern France, where we have a second home, Australia and New Zealand and Playa Blanca for a chill out week every now and then!
The stimulating yet relaxed and friendly atmospheres at the Runnymede and Virginia Water Art Societies are great. There is such a lot going on, the venues are superb and I just love getting in there and getting on with it! The Outreach work with the under 5s is a delight and brings back all my nearly forgotten teaching skills! And what a first class experience ‘On the Green’ is! This local ‘Montmartre’ puts the work of the Virginia Water artists right into the heart of the community and is a very special occasion for meeting others and sharing ideas. I am very appreciative of all those who make these experiences possible. Thank you.