Creativity is a beautiful word. It was a word I never used and I always said about any of my work: “I make” or “I dabble”. Believe me when I tell you I dabbled a lot in my life. I stuck my toe into many hobbies: card making, painting, ceramics, knitting & crochet, floristry, photography, etc etc. They were phases that lasted a while until I became bored of them. I believe that you can do anything in life if you really want to but it takes time. When you do find it you know! It excites you when you see the finished piece, and the sense of achievement is overwhelming. It took me till I was in my late 50’s to find my true creativity.
I was raised by a mother who tried to be a dressmaker, It was her passion and she spent many years at dressmaking classes to realise her dream. I grew up in a home where the sewing machine was a permanent fixture on the kitchen table with the next project under the needle waiting for completion. Where I admired her determination I also witnessed the frustration that she suffered when a garment didn’t fall into place. Instead of giving up she persevered and we all took cover on a bad sewing day. I was victim to many of the disasters – a pair of lopsided bright green hot pants in the 1970’s! Knitting was another challenge for her – a testament to that when she died that we found hundreds of balls of unused wool and a suitcases full of knitting patterns and abandoned dresses, skirts and jumpers.
But one thing that she should have been proud of was that she taught me to rise to a challenge. Maybe I just have a little more insight into what works for me and what doesn’t, I will never knit another jumper or make a skirt. I can’t follow a pattern – or maybe I don’t want to as it stifles my creativity. I want to play, experiment, be surprised at the outcome of my latest piece of work, I want to feel the joy of randomly adding colour and silk to my work and letting it take on its own life.
My latest picture – Dreaming of Summer was a spur of the moment piece – a delve into a box of wool and whatever came out was used. This is my own creativity guiding me and letting me play without restrictions of patterns or instruction. I never tire of the feeling of joy in seeing a completed project. My mother and I were very different in many ways – but that desire to create was something we shared and for that I am grateful.