I live in Cornwall, in the Tamar Valley near the river that runs between Devon and Cornwall, where I have run a small website development business since 2000.
I took a BA in Modern History from Oxford. Modern history at Oxford starts in 420AD, and despite the name, most of my focus was medieval and earlier – my special subject was the Carolingian Renaissance (no, not the famous Italian Renaissance, a much earlier one.) This left me with a great interest in early medieval art, including weaving, metalwork and carving as well as painting. I was also a member of the Oxford Tolkien society and Arthurian society: two experiences that ended up having more impact on my way of thinking than I entirely realised at the time. I developed a great love of historical story, and the way that story complicates into legend and into myth, and this is reflected in the subjects that I paint and how I approach them.
After Oxford I volunteered at the Museum of Oxford, while teaching history part-time. I went on to take a post-graduate diploma in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, which taught me a lot about how people interact with art and the significance that time and history invests in objects.
I then spent some years working in the internet industry. I never lost the interest in history, fantasy and the imagery that surrounds story, though it was difficult to find time to go on exploring them while keeping up with jobs and business.
I also got involved with dog rescue after adopting an ex-racing greyhound, and fostered a number of rescue dogs, particularly lurchers. I’ve always loved the shape and elegance of sighthounds, and it’s incredibly sad that these beautiful and fascinating dogs are so often mistreated.
Sadly, I found after a while that I was struggling with life : it was hard to focus on the things that I had felt important. I lost my way and my hope for a while, and spent a long while struggling with depression. So I turned back to art and history and writing, because those are my real strengths. I really appreciate the people who have encouraged me in this, it means a lot!
I’ve been taking art classes with a talented Cornish artist, Colin Pethick, where I’ve learned some interesting new techniques, and even more, new ways of looking at light and colour and the paintings of great artists of the past.
I and my husband Mark now run The Shop on the Borderlands, an online shop selling roleplaying games, unusual boardgames, fantasy and science fiction books, so I get to look at a lot of great fantasy art (and quite a lot of less good fantasy art too!)