Once upon a time

Dear Laura, 

Once upon a time, I didn't have a sewing box, or knitting needles and I most certainly didn't have a crochet hook. When I was growing up I did sew and I did knit but mainly I painted. I was lucky to have parents that didn't seem to mind me making a bit of a mesh and even allowed me to paint a giant mural straight on to my bedroom wall. The first painting that had an effect on me was Kandinsky "Swinging" it was in the tate and I just didn't want to move from it when I saw it. Kandinsky, Klee, and Miro are three of my favourite artists oh and I recently fell in love with Cy Twombly. When I left home, I left home with paint brushes and tubes of paint, these moved with me along with my clothes and bedding and kitchen utensils. Whenever I had the urge to create something it would be a painting or a drawing. This is the last painting I did, it is about 6 years old.

You see when I moved to Nottingham, for some reason I just didn't feel the urge to paint anymore. In fact I couldn't really think of anything to paint. The harsh urban industrial landscape I was living in no longer inspired me to pick up a brush. But strangely it did inspire me to pick up a needle and thread.

Nottingham was once a vast force in textiles and the old victorian lace factories still stand proudly today (mostly converted into nice modern flats). Hockley buzzes with boutiques and the fashion course at Nottingham Trent proudly produced Ted Baker.

And so when I moved from nottingham I packed up my brushes and paints for the last time and gave them away. Instead I put my material and wool into my case with my pins and needles and scissors and thread and moved those along with my clothes and bedding and kitchen utensils across the ocean and to their new home here in DC.
My bird making factory

Birds in their pairs ready for transit

I hope I will pick up a brush again one day but for now I am hooked on the sewing.

Lots of love



  1. I find that I go through phases of different creative forces too :) I do love that painting tho! Helen x

  2. I have never been able to paint or draw. I just don't seem able see in 2D. This is why I was so happy to find I could do things in 3D. Ceramics felt like coming home artistically and then when I was too I'll to go into the studio yarn and fabric jumped in to fill the void. I wish craft was seen as valid artistically in schools, they might find they had more artistic students than they originally thought.

  3. That is a fascinating story about Nottingham. I lived there for several years and still feel a really strong connection to the city. I found it such a creative place to live (like you it did not inspire me to paint) but it did inspire lots of collaborative, installation style work. In fact it was whilst living there that I first started to work in glass... Thank you for sharing this xx

  4. Thanks Helen, I am pretty pleased with the painting.

    There is definitely more to art and being creative than just painting and drawing, I find 3D much more satisfying.

    Nottingham is a very creative place, I enjoyed my time there immensely. I'm impressed you took up working in glass, I love glass.


Thank you so much for commenting, we love to hear what you have to say.
Annie and Laura x

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