1994 - 2002
These were productive years for me and many of my best-selling card titles were created during this time.
An annual commitment to exhibit at the NEC Spring Fair set me on a commercial ‘tread-mill’, each year needing to satisfy an ever increasing demand for “more cats and country scenes” in my greetings cards and prints range.
In a brief respite from my commercial work, I dashed off this little seascape, inspired by a trip to the Isle of Mull. Here was a frustrated artist trying to break free!
I had recently moved from my home in Lancashire to beautiful rural Shropshire, to a cottage with a 17C barn on the banks of the Llangollen canal and it is in the barn that I now have made my Gallery.
Setting out from home, I spent many happy summer months travelling the country by narrowboat, getting inspiration for my popular range of canal greetings cards, then coming home to work hard through the winter, when the wax is cold for cracking and there are fewer distractions.
In 1996 I was commissioned by Aga Rayburn to design pieces for a range of Aga greetings cards and prints to sell in their shops.
My first collie ‘Joe’ was a well known character, who entertained the boaters as they negotiated the Grindley Brook locks by my home.
Such a busy year, producing titles for the catalogue …
… with a brief autumn ‘soggiorno in Venezia’ to feed my soul.
It was while I was there that I realised it was time to get off the commercial treadmill that I had created for myself.
My children were now supporting themselves and my financial pressures had lifted.
I was now free to do what inspired me, instead of what the public demanded, so I decided that the 1999 Spring Fair was to be my last.
I would now devote my time to creating and selling original work in the Gallery – what bliss …
🔴 These pieces sold in the ’50 Years of Batik’ exhibition