WHY I PAINT!
Thank you for choosing to view my website – here is a little bit about my life as an artist and what drives me to keep painting – despite advancing age and uncertain eyesight!
Having been a textile designer for many years, an adventure to India completely changed the artistic path I had been treading. We saw our first wild elephants in India in Nagahole National Park and I was completely enchanted with how these huge creatures just seemed to silently appear and disappear into the jungle. We learned of the problems of habitat loss and how the Asian elephant seems to be the forgotten species when it comes to publicity about endangered species – African elephants get all the press frenzies! I was so fired up at seeing these amazing creatures in the wild, where they belonged that I decided to become a wildlife conservation artist and try and help raise awareness and donations to publicise the plight of human-elephant conflict. Tigers in India, Orang Utans in Borneo all featured in my travels to see these wild animals who share our planet. Then a trip to Sri Lanka became extremely personal: we found a tiny orphaned baby elephant in The Elephant Transit Home in Uda Walawe in the south of the island. This was during the troubles of the Civil War and her family had probably been frightened away by gunfire. She was around 3 months old and just swaying on her little feet, trying to sleep after all the trauma she had experienced (in times of great stress they cry tears). As a mother and grandmother, my heart was torn and I volunteered to become her sole ‘foster mother’ – also I could name her. She is called Florence (Nightingale) with my name what else could it be! Selling my artwork to finance her milk formula for 4 years until her release enabled me to become very involved with the life of this tiny elephant, with constant updates on her progress and health. In 2007 we let her go back to the wild and tracked her through her radio collar until 2013, when it fell off. She was growing well and strong and and joined a wild herd. Unable to track her on a visit to Sri Lanka in 2016, the amazing vet who initially rescued her informed me in January 2019 that we could find her again through the tracking collar of another elephant who had joined Florence’s herd!! This we did and found her, full grown at around 4 tons, and possibly pregnant! As I am well known in Sri Lanka as Elephant Mummy I will now be promoted to Elephant Grandma! Full circle for my lovely ‘daughter’. And for those who always ask if Florence recognises me – no she doesn’t as I don’t get close to her. Wild she was born and wild she must be
EXHIBITIONS – 2019
North Creake Abbey Spring Fair 20 April 10 – 4pm
The Quay Gallery, Snape 13/19 June 10-5pm
Royal Norfolk Show 26/27 June All day event
Wells Hospital Fete at Holkham Hall 14 July 10 – 4pm
North Creake Abbey Summer Fair 24 August 10 – 4pm
Natural World Art Society at The Forum Norwich 30 – 5 Oct 10 – 5pm
North Creake Abbey Christmas Fair 23 Nov 10 – 3pm
Open Exhibition at The Forum Norwich 26 – 30 November 10 – 5pm
PLEASE CHECK BACK REGULARLY AS THERE MAY BE OTHER FAIRS AT WHICH I MAY EXHIBIT.