My Story


I was born in the UK in 1942 during the war. Our home was in Southsea a suburb of Portsmouth which was a naval port. My Mother moved us to Cheshire to escape the bombing as Portsmouth was a prime target. Mum had 2 other children and then along came me. The war ended 2 years after I was born & we could return to Southsea, luckily our house was safe. My younger sister was born at home 5 years after me.

As a youngster I was always drawing & painting and Xmas was always great as I had a stocking full of paints, pencils & books. At school I was often found sketching other children in the class or a film star or two and some animals, my exercise books carried quite a few of these sketches.

On leaving school I started work in the Dockyard in the drawing office. The naval ships would come in for refits & I would work on the electrical plans. This fulfilled some of my drawing needs but also stunted me a little. I found later in life when I tried to paint I was too neat, so have had to learn to be a lot freer.

In 1959 I was in a taxi with my fiance and 3 friends when it hit a lamp post at 70 miles an hour. My fiance was killed along with one of our friends & I received shocking injuries that caused fractures to my spine & legs. I spent months in hospital unable to move & not wanting to live either. It was the worst time of my life & I didn’t know how I would get past it. But life does go on and I had to make the best of it. Drawing helped me through a difficult time while healing broken bones.

Years later I married and started my family, a boy then a girl bought new life to me but I did not have the time for art so my books were packed away.

In 1969 we emigrated to Brisbane and a new life. But tragedy once again struck I had only been in the country a few months when I came down with a mysterious illness. The pain was horrific & I was put in hospital unable to walk. The doctors could not find the problem with me & pumped anti biotics into me which apparently was making me worse as they later realised I was allergic to the drugs.. I went into a coma & passed over. It was an amazing experience I will never forget. The love & feeling of warmth was amazing it is hard to describe. But it was not my time to go, I heard my children calling me even though they were not with me at that moment, & I knew I could not leave them in a new country, they were only 6 & 7. So I was returned back to the pain of the illness. I eventually got better & was discharged weak but alive.

When I got home it took a year to get back to normal & during that time I spent my spare time when the children were at school drawing. I loved the old Tudor homes & pubs of England & mainly drew them. A neighbour saw them one day & said her mother had an antique shop in Brisbane & would love to sell them. So I had an outlet for a while until she sold the shop.

I eventually went back to work & no time to draw. We bought a house & welcomed a third child into the home. Over the following years I experienced a great deal of spinal pain and found it difficult to concentrate on anything. In 1993 after many years of not being able to sit or stand for long I had to give up work & take a disability pension. By this time I was on my own having gone through a nasty divorce.

In 2012 I had enough & was feeling suicidal with the level of pain going through the roof, I was on massive doses of drugs and at the end of my tether. I saw a Professor in Brisbane who specialised in scoliosis & he agreed to operate. I spent some months in hospital after that major op in terrible pain, he had inserted steel rods & screws into half of my spine in a nine hour long operation & said he could do no more or I wouldn’t be able to move. I have had to live with this pain which comes from not only scoliosis but arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, arachnoiditis & several other problems. I walk with a stick but it is not getting better. It is what it is now.

I found my way back to art some 20 years ago now when I found a tutor, Heather Bell, herself an international artist teaching a group of local artists where I lived & it has been a great help for me, I find I can zone out while painting & leave the pain behind me at least for a little while.

I started with acrylics which I found very satisfying, such vibrant colours. One day I was searching through a box of frames I had bought many months before & I saw this wooden box. On opening it I was blown away, it was full of pastels hardly used. I decided to give them a try not having experienced them before. The first painting I did was amazing, it just seemed to flow onto the paper. I did more & more & improved with every painting. I have done some amazing pictures of animals with pastels that I firmly believe I am channelling someone. There is no way I could find them so easy otherwise. It is such a satisfying medium I can never go back to paints. I hope everyone that sees them loves them too. My only problem with pastels is that they have to be behind a mat board & framed behind glass. They cannot be placed one on top of another otherwise the pastel will rub. No matter if you spray the picture some dust still comes off if touched. They should never be tipped upside down or banged around. This of course means they cannot be posted and I ask people if they wish to purchase they pick them up from myself at Tweed Heads or one of my children in Brisbane.

I have painted pets for people who want a lasting memory of their pet & am happy to do more. So satisfying when people see their pet come alive on paper that they can hang on their wall at home long after the pet has departed.

I will add new paintings as I finish them so come back often to see what new paintings have been added.

I have found my passion and I just hope you will like what I have done too. Please enjoy.