About The Dirty Hand Artist
Self Expression with Compassion
I am an artist working from my studio, set back from the Solway coastline at Burgh-by-Sands, approximately 6 miles west of Carlisle. The main north window looks over a fallow field, a Roman vallum, trees and hedgerows. Beyond lies The Solway. The smaller west window catches the evening sun from Spring Equinox onwards and I trace its passage through to Midsummer, when the setting sun illuminates the North window. In this sense, the studio feels alive… breathing.
An insect rich garden surrounds the studio and there is much activity from solitary bees, bumble bees, wasps, butterflies and moths, hoverflies and all manner of mini-beasts. Birds are regulars to the garden as well and I enjoy tuning into their yearly cycles and patterns. One of my favourite moments is when the geese return from Iceland to overwinter on the Solway in early Autumn.
Finding an ancient bead on my allotment led me to name the studio The Amber Studio. Although not made from amber, but glass, hold it up to candle flame and the rich honey tones are warming and uplifting. Pouring over my Crystal Bible by Judy Hall, I read the following and so the name for the studio was decided! “Amber has a strong connection with the earth and is a grounding stone for higher energies. Amber is a powerful healer and cleanser that draws dis-ease from the body and promotes tissue revitalisation. It also cleans the environment and the chakras. It absorbs negative energies and transmutes them into positive forces that stimulate the body to heal itself.”
Here, where I work, there is a real feeling of being immersed in the energies of Nature. My studio is open by appointment. You can also sign up to my Newsletter for shop updates and special offers.
In space I feel.
I make a mark.
A written word.
I am regularly mentored in my practice by London-based Professional Artist and Freelance Lecturer Steve Humble.
I am interested in working with natural pigments and homemade mediums as well as repurposing and reusing, therefore minimising waste and the exploitation of Earth’s precious resources. We consume too much!
My work involves communicating emotion and remembering’s (memory) in response to my place in Nature. Truth for me is how I am affected by my place in landscape. I am interested in the energy and wisdom of plants, trees and animals as well as my own inner journey as woman.
My work is a contemporary practice that often incorporates several disciplines; the written word, collage, print, paint, object, book.
Mark making enthrals me. This is mind and soul in conversation with the energy that is channelled through me from my connection to the earth, reaching out, forming meaning, my responses often gestural.
Ritual and Sacredness are important elements of my practice and whilst some pieces are worked on in cycles, honouring a shift in a season or within my own self, other pieces mark a momentary event like an astronomical observation or the bittersweet ephemeral beauty of something witnessed, yet so easily unnoticed. I am also interested in capturing the passage of time. I do not aim to mimic the beauty of Nature, rather to express my emotional response to it. I listen to an ancient voice that once inhabited our land and the legacy of Mystery and Spirt becomes my Native Expressive Power. Symbols often appear in my work and at the time I am unaware of their meaning. Only as time passes do I understand. Rest is also an important element in my process and it very much relates to the journey I have taken through life as well as what I learn from Nature herself. All this is represented by my work.
At times I gift my work in unexpected ways because I think art should be accessible to as many people as possible without the commerce side of things. I love how people respond! Here are some lovely words written by one amazing recipient!
“Just can’t thank you enough for your beautiful painting – I am so touched. You are the absolute epitome of the #bekind.”
Other people have insisted on sending me money for gifted pieces but instead I have asked them to donate to charities that support conservation projects instead.
Life is beautiful.
Life is rare.
Wealth, for me personally, is not always measured in the energy of money. Having said that, money is energy that creates opportunities for fun and freedom, in balanced measure, and I still have to eat and keep myself and my small family warm and safe. I do accept commissions so if you have a special request for something, contact the Dirty Hand Artist:
The Amber Studio