A few years ago my husband bought me a DNA test kit for my Christmas present. My family joked at the time that he was having me tested before we got married (how hilarious!) but he quite simply knew that I find ancestry and family trees fascinating. There were a few results that were not especially surprising given my known Nordic and French ancestors. However, the information that really caught my attention is that I am very distantly related to the remains of humans found where there are beautiful paleolithic cave paintings in Southern France, which were created thousands of years ago. Granted, if I think about this logically; unless a skeleton was found with a fossil of a paintbrush clasped in its bony fingers, I am not sure how the DNA can be attributed to an actual, ancient artist. On the other hand, the romantic notion it conjures up for me is that this ancient ancestor, probably struggling to survive most days, was also moved to capture an image of their surroundings.
Similarly - but more concretely - my great grandmother and great uncle were both artists and my brother is a talented photographer (www.austinjamesrea.com) and so maybe there is something in it!
In any case, I love creating art and I have been drawing since I was very young. When I was two and a half years old, I drew life size, full body portraits of a stick girl and a stick boy on either side of the hallway entrance to my parents’ apartment - in blue biro pen. The image of the girl is one of my earliest memories, she had long hair stretching down from each side of her head to her feet, adorned with about 20 bows on either side! Later, at school, art always came easily to me and I loved it. At secondary school, I found that the art class was a fun break from the drudgery of maths or chemistry and I thought seriously about going on to study art at university. However, I decided that I would prefer to keep it as a hobby at that point...so I went on to study law.
Fast forward to Spring 2018 and, after nearly a decade of working as a lawyer, I have decided to take a career break to focus on looking after our young son. Even though I now have less free time than when I was in full-time employment, it has taken me until now to realise fully that there is rarely a so-called “right time” for anything and you have got to make the most of things wherever possible. For this reason, I feel compelled to make more of my artistic abilities and carve out as much time as possible for art in various forms - first and foremost for painting but also for viewing art, getting along to art exhibitions and even just looking at others’ work on Instagram - there is some brilliant work displayed there and it is easy to steal a couple of minutes to look at it here and there while feeding the wee one!
I also plan to maintain this blog, filling it with information about my work and materials, my musings on art more generally and also introducing the beautiful Aberdeenshire countryside (in North Eastern Scotland), where I live, to those who are not familiar with it. It is not as well known as Glasgow, Edinburgh or even Inverness and the Highlands and Islands but it is lovely and has a lot to offer those who are fond of the outdoors.
So...a very warm welcome to my blog!
Here are a few pictures of me out and about painting...