Peering from the window of our cottage, which overlooks the rolling hillside of the moor, I am ‘wine in hand’, sipping on a nice cool glass of Sharpham. It’s that time of the evening where the birds are beginning to settle in for the night, the wind is rustling through the trees and all is relatively quiet.
The slow dance of the flowers having just been watered. The mix broad leaf of the hillside, ash, beech, cherry, maple, poplar swaying in the breeze. The valley is welcoming in the evening, as I ‘toast’ its arrival.
Dartmoor really is a spectacular place.
The demonstrative bark of Scruff, our farm dog, slices across natures’ slow-dance and reminds me of who is left to be fed here on the farm! Priorities. Animals. The menagerie. The circle of life….
This is my natural habitat. A small part of the Moor. A reverie. A place I work from, but a place which will always be known as home.
My art studio resides here and is a colour spattered haven where canvas is stacked, paint-pots are open and brushes are laid out ready to explore.
The adventure is about to begin, where shall we go?
As Julie Andrews once sang in The Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning” …
My art journey began back in 2017 when a back injury led to spinal surgery and bed rest. It will forever be known as ‘the flat period’ and during this time, life was depleted of colour. I spent most days lying down. Unable to do anything else. My tens machine and I were ‘joined at the hip’, excuse the pun… Those days were long. Days reliant on a patient family and supportive friends. Days bathed in pain, physio, spinal injections and eventually surgery. A weakened back from years of dance in a prior career.
There was no rhyme or reason as to why I picked up a paintbrush and started to paint. I suppose, everything at that point felt like a very dark place, so perhaps, it was my attempt at brightening up my world.
…and do you know what? It did just that. I began with the brightest colours imaginable. Often they clashed like an altercation in a paintball game. Often the brushstrokes were angled, they didn’t necessarily look like anything special BUT the process made me feel amazing. Had I painted before you ask? A little. Not much.
The paint-pot was my place to go to, when I couldn’t really go anywhere. It was therapeutic. It was a haven. A quiet place. A creative place. It was. It is.
Since ‘the flat period’, The Dartmoor Artist has come to fruition. It was inevitable that my name would align itself to the place in which I am creatively inspired and the place to which I call home. Art was and IS a sanctuary.
Juggling motherhood, a farm, a herd of cattle & a menagerie of animals, my work is a celebration of the characters found here on the farm, the hedgerows, the fields, the skies, Dartmoor. I still retain the celebration of colour within my work. I enjoy the texture and the joy found in ‘feeling’ your way through a piece. I revel in the opportunity that lies within a blank canvas, because there is always the chance to start again, to learn something new and to know its ok to make mistakes. I also believe in the power of storytelling. Creating characters that you can align with, believe in and have empathy for.
…and as characters of the farm turn in for the night, I look across the hillside…I am thankful for this view, for the source of inspiration and for the way in which I have found the art in dARTmoor. thedartmoorartist.co.uk