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The “Art” Of Surprises: A Loughborough Girl And Her Discovery Of Art

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Each week I try and research and bring to you a variation of different types of art and where art has had an impact on peoples life’s.  Many things have been said about the artists, but not about me, the girl behind the screen who sources, writes and posts things for you. This blog, is all about me and how life is full of surprises.

Where did it all begin?

This is a question I ask myself quite a lot, so here is what I came up with.

As a young child I grew up in a cul de sac. This was no ordinary cul de sac.  We lived right opposite Loughborough College in Leicestershire very popular for art and design.  I was born in this house and my awareness of the college would be around the age of 8.

At the age of 9 a young girl Laura moved into our street.  Laura was the same age as me and we were both born in the fabulous year of 1968. Laura and her family were very different to mine .They were all creative and played musical instruments, none of which I did.  Laura wanted to be an artist.  She loved to draw and make things. Laura was a fantastic artist and I had never seen anyone draw like her before.

Laura went to school just across the road from where we lived.  I knew the school well as my mother cleaned there when all the kids had gone home.  She would often take me with her.  I remember a teacher at the school called Miss Keeble.  Miss Keeble did all the arts and crafts with children.  One day, she was making some decorations for christmas.  She said to me, if you ask your mum, you can come and sit with me and help me make them if you like. I went to find mum, who was only round the corner and she said yes.  I sat at a tiny table and we began to make doves and paper chain decorations.  I really loved it.  I spent many evenings in her class room helping her.  The glitter was the best.  Making Christmas cards.  Who would have thought that beneath all the glue and glitter, a few shakes and as if by magic a Christmas tree appears.

As the years went by, I didn’t really do much art at school, but there always seemed to be an attachment to art.  As stated earlier my mother worked at the school, but this was about to change and she and the other ladies would be cleaning in a new building. On the same site was a big old house that was originally owned by a guy galled Joseph Griggs and his family. Joseph was the first Mayor of Loughborough and had many parties at his home.  Years and years down the line the arts council moved in and my mum and the other ladies, started to clean the building.  It was very grand and all the people that worked here, were involved in the performing arts and exhibitions.  They helped promote the work of others and organise some of the events.  I spent many nights exploring the building and all the rooms.  I even found a secret passageway in the wall.  It was on the third floor, I used to go inside and follow it round and then found myself coming out through a door on the ground floor.  The house dated back to the first world war, so it was probably an escape route.

The presence around art would disappear, but appeared again in the future.  After being made redundant I decided to update my kitchen and part of this was to have new electrics put in.  I rang around and then one day after a phone call a young man came to my door.  This young man unbeknown to me, would change my life.

After starting work at my house in 2011  and having  many conversations, I asked how he came to be in Loughborough, as his accent was not a local one.  He told me he had been studying fashion and textiles.  I never really thought much about it, except that his father was from Northern Ireland the same as my mother and we talked about Families and Ireland.  The art side never really came up, until a friend told me he could draw and that his pictures were amazing.

Then, in June 2012 he was getting ready to go travelling, I came across a website whereby the guy drew your picture and for a fixed price and made a living out of it.  I text the info and received one back telling me all about this great art tutorial site that he was working on and that it was going to be amazing. The site was called ArtisanHQ a Free to use site.  I had the web address and took a look. I didn’t know that much amount the technical side of art and had no training in this area, but I liked what I saw.  The tutorials were very informative and all the text had been written by the owners, who you now know to be the “Thomson family. I tried to help promote it and even managed to get Loughborough College to email it out to all their art students.

In September 2012, I was looking at youtube and an art tutorial caught my eye.  I liked it not only for the artwork, but the music.  I sent a message through the ArtisanHQ site.  A few days later I received a message saying that if I wanted to, become a member and then I could write and produce my own tutorials and that we could work something out about it.  My initial reaction was that I was thrilled and excited but also scared.  What did I know about art and so I declined.  But after a few days I looked at the site, became a member and wrote my first tutorial.  I received some good feedback so I decided to have another go.

As my confidence grew I began to explore art in a different way, instead of just looking at the traditional side of learning to paint and draw etc, I looked at where art had, had an impact on peoples life’s and this is when I started to write more freely and also start to write the blogs. Two of my favouritee ones are the “Angels in Art” and also the “Peoples Painter.”  I have written about how art has raised the awareness for cancer, helped heal you when you feel depressed.  I have also found lots of educational stuff.  Writing about Cambodia and the terrible things that happened to the people and also about the life of Anne Frank.   I have of course stretched my skills and took on the task of writing about the technical tutorials.  It is still a struggle, but something that I am willing to have a go at.

One of the main areas that has come out for me, is my ability to write.  This is something that has been quite a shock and a surprise.  My appreciation for art has grown and my love for writing has emerged.  I owe my thanks and support to my Electrician friend.  A dark haired, hairy faced man, who I call my Irish scallywag. Without meeting him none of this would have happened.

I can say hand on heart that I truly love this site and love writing.  I have been writing on here for well over a year now and hope to continue for many more.  I have become friends with all my fellow writers and they have helped me on my journey.

One thing I will say is that, although I am not an artist like many of you, I still have the passion and love for it.  I read somehere once that said that sometimes you don’t need to be the best in your field, but what you need is a creative flare and a good eye.  I think I have both of these.

I hope that you all enjoy what I post and have learned many new things.  I know I have.

Ann

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