Artist, Art Tutor, Creativity Coach, & Certified Zentangle Teacher
I have always had a love of nature, as a child whiling away many hours in the fields behind the house, and throughout my life walking the hills, woodland and seashores near my home. I’ve been drawn to engaging creatively in life, making things, drawing, using collage, dancing, swimming in wild seas & enjoy collaborating with others on creative projects. I’ve worked in the hospitality industry, managed a Complimentary Health practice, led walks (Soles & Souls) and facilitated a variety of art workshops and classes.
Mindfully Creative is a synthesis of Creativity, Mindfulness and Nature. I studied Art (printmaking) in Sydney in the 1980’s and have taught a variety of art classes over the years, in particular life drawing & experimental approaches to drawing & painting. I’ve explored a wide range of media and have an eclectic approach, enjoying the contrast of working on the one hand in a wild, spontaneous and free manner with paint and mixed media, and on the other hand working very carefully and precisely in pen and ink to create detailed designs and mandalas.
I see the patterns of interest and engagement that weave in and out of my life. As a child, I loved drawing and making crafty things. I also loved spending time in nature. In my early 20s, I travelled to Australia on a working holiday visa, fell in love and stayed for 7 years. I took the opportunity to go to art college and subsequently set up several community art classes, mainly in life drawing which was my biggest passion. Back in England, art went on the back burner for a few years until I moved to East Sussex, where I set up classes and workshops, and spent time drawing and painting in my garage studio. When my daughter came along in 2001 my creative attention got diverted into raising this wonderful being. Now I find myself drawn back to bringing creativity more fully into my life and sharing the process of how to engage in the creative flow with other people, through classes and workshops. I also have a regular meditation practice, bringing Mindfulness to all aspects of living and teaching and completed a Mindfulness Teacher Training course in 2016.
I am now devoting myself fully to Mindfully Creative classes as well as developing my own art practice from my studio in Lewes. I lead walks and teach Zentangle classes on request and am a qualified life coach.
I believe we are all creative by nature, though sometimes the creative part of us can get surpassed by ‘more important’ endeavours or get thwarted as we grow up. Fortunately it is possible to rediscover the part of us that loves adventure, trying out new things and seeing what curious, unexpected creative outcomes emerge. Young children are innately creative and create new worlds through play. As we grow up creativity can blocked for one reason or another. Often a childhood experience of having the latest painting or play dismissed by a busy parent can stifle your creativity for a lifetime. The creative part of ourselves is very sensitive and needs nurturing with a gentle, kind heart to grow and flourish. It needs to be given space to try things out, and make mistakes without judgement. The critical voices that arise in response to some of our creative endeavours may try and guide us on a sensible path, but they can get in the way of being spontaneous and open to whatever emerges.
In the west creativity is often seen as a result of great creative personalities and we herald well know creative people as brilliant. However there is also a different way of viewing creativity as something less personal, as more of a universal process that we can discover ways of tapping in to. So it’s less about ‘our’ creativity and something that ‘we’, the ‘ego’ creates, but more about finding the creative flow that we can meld with. To this end it helps to ‘get ourselves out of the way’! What I mean is finding a way to bypass the critical conscious ego part of the mind that jeopardises the possibility of allowing creativity to flow.
‘Getting yourself out of the way’ can be achieved by becoming mindfully absorbed with the process of making something, so that the process takes over and the mind becomes calmer and more focussed. In the various classes and workshops I run I will introduce different ways to help you become more present moment by moment as the creative process unfolds.