Despite my Yorkshire roots (and occasional Northern outbursts), I have now lived in Nutley on the picturesque Ashdown Forest for the last 27 years – still not quite a local!
Ashdown Forest has always been special to me and I strongly suspect I would not have been an artist at all if it wasn’t for the inspiring subject matter right on my doorstep. Even on the gloomiest of days there is artistic treasure out there waiting to be discovered.
Art is a pursuit I never expected to follow. I had previously trained as a bilingual secretary and worked in the power, marine and construction industries. It all began on a February day in 1991 with an impulse buy of equipment and stock from a retiring picture framer. In search of customers I joined a local art class run by Royal Academy trained tutor, Geoffrey Colbourne. I soon realised there was a market for my work…
The next few years saw the business developing. Customer numbers increased and links were formed with the National Trust at Standen where I staged solo exhibitions and tutored day workshops. My range of limited edition prints & cards grew and I invested in the equipment to produce my own giclee images. I became interested in both the conservation and tourism side of Ashdown Forest and its villages, working with Elite Hotels (Ashdown Park), High Weald AONB Unit and local tourist attractions.
I joined the Ashdown Forest Tourism Association (AFTA) and Tourism South East. Being filmed for ITV's "Tales from the Country" with Selina Scott was exciting and I have also appeared on various public information films. I am reliably informed that my work has found its way to all corners of the globe and at last count I have sold over five hundred original paintings and several thousand prints.
My business, Cogcraft in Nutley, is my usual centre of operations and every available space has been commandeered. My passion for conservation also runs into the arts and I buy and sell antique prints, often rescuing them from unstable framing and acid laden backboards.
Visitors are most welcome and there is generally a pastel on my easel, but a phone call is very much appreciated. Contact Juliet to arrange a viewing.