Creative Response is my lifeline. I have had M.E. for over 25 years and am a wheelchair user, and it is often difficult for me to get out and about, to see many people, or to practice my creativity in the way I would like. I also struggle with clinical depression. Over several years now the Creative Response community at Cranleigh Arts Centre has given me an outlet to play with different art media (I am at my happiest when my hands are messy!) and a chance to have some regular social contact.
The Creative Response sessions remind me of who I am - as a whole person as well as an artist - even if there are weeks when I am not well enough to participate. The various practitioners who facilitate the sessions have been superb in their encouragement to just try and see, ust have a go. They could not have been kinder in dealing with my condition and their generosity in sharing their expertise never fails to astonish me.
I work in a variety of media. Over the years I have been coming to Creative Response I have painted with shells, bark, willow sticks, plastic bottles and cutlery - along with more conventional brushes and fingers. Throughout 2016 I have been learning to sit at a potter's wheel and have produced a series of extremely wonky bowls and pots, but it is fantastic to have such access to new materials and techniques and equipment.
Last winter I had my first encounter with lino printing, a technique I really hope to explore further. This summer saw my first experiment with painting with oils. Next term I am planning to return to working big as I have a series of abstract acrylic paintings slowly forming at the back of my mind, and I have a yearning to complete a series of large charcoal, graphite and ink drawings.
Outside Creative Response I keep my artistic eye ticking over with occasional contemplative photography and writing. My blog can be found at shotattenpaces.blogspot.co.uk. I am currently also training my mind and eyes to remain open by posting an iPhone image every day as an act of daily seeing on Facebook. You can find the page here: https://www.facebook.com/1actofdailyseeing/