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A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME
I've had several requests from burners to write a bio about my artistic career. I'm a bit embarrassed to do so because, well, there's really not that much to tell.
Like any other kid, I took art in high school, but only until year 11. I've never taken an art class or any other creative class in my life since then. I have however been fortunate enough to have been blessed with parents who were very artistic and creative.
My father (an architect) died when I was 5 years old, but there is enough of his work still existing for me to know he was an artist with a fantastic eye and natural ability. He loved black and white/monochrome work, as I do, and also loved to work in detail…as I absolutely do.
On the same side of the family, my Great Grandmother was a well recognized oil and water colour painter and had a piece once hanging in our National Gallery.
From my Mum I received a more rounded gift. She was (is, if she were still physically able) a creative jack of all trades. She taught herself many crafts and arts, including silver smithing/jewellery making, china painting etc. Apart from passing on a generous amount of artistic ability, she also taught me not be afraid to tackle anything I wanted to...and not to be afraid of rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty.
She was the only person to give me a drawing lesson. I remember she taught me what shade was and how it made a picture look more realistic. That was when I was very young, when I used to draw African animals from a book to while away the time at the laundry mat. I entered one of these pictures in a local art contest and won both the children's and adult sections for drawing.
It's hard to say why, and probably too complex to work out, but from then on, (until I was around 32 years of age), I rarely drew again. (I've just turned 40)
Me and Mr. Mac
I taught myself a lot of other creative things in the mean time, including taking up my Mums love of jewelry making. I tried to paint once, but couldn't then find my niche or medium and quickly gave it up. I did a few pictures in pencil and tried some charcoal, but no sooner had I picked up a pencil, I would put it down again for a couple of years.
For a career I studied and became a horticulturist. I worked in horticulture, (interspersed with travelling), for a number of years until I had to stay at home and look after my ill Mum.
Well, every cloud has a silver lining as they say. While taking care of things at home I looked for ways to occupy myself. I started playing with a woodburner that had been given to me as a gift. At first I started burning simple products for markets and the tourist industry. I did this for a few years until Mum got super ill again and I couldn't keep up with orders. I then started to wonder about what was possible in pyrography...how fine and realistic could it be? While I had the home time, I started playing around and pushing my own limits, learning a whole lot of things along the way.
That's pretty much where you find me now in pyrography...still pushing away, trying things out, developing methods to make the pictures I see in my head. My goal is to keep exploring the limits and to keep refining what I already know...and to pass that on to others who also enjoy burning in it's many forms.
Here I am today with a thousand ideas in my head, a million possibilities and never enough time. It's been an interesting, if challenging road up until now, but certainly not without it's rewards. I'm looking forward to learning a whole lot more every day. I know there will never be enough time to explore all I want to, but there's something to be said about the journey being better than the destination.
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