My connection with spiritual art has been a gradual journey of discovery, which began when I was a child growing up in West Yorkshire. I was an imaginative and creative child with an inclination to drift away into my own imaginary world.
I recall drawing and painting from an early age, and credit my father for helping lay the foundations for my interest and abilities in art. He would encourage me to copy drawings from illustrations in books, such as Dean’s Nursery Rhymes, which was often an escape into a magical world.
When I was sixteen years old, I found a friend and mentor named Mr Gooding, a gifted artist who studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. He was the first who recognised my abilities, and helped nurture my artistic skills. Another important figure in my life was Brian Needham, an artist with a studio and gallery in Manor Row in Bradford, West Yorkshire. He was very interested in my art and could see I had potential. He took me under his wing and invited me to his weekly watercolour classes.
During this period, I found employment as a self-employed picture framer, which lasted for seven-years. I then decided to leave my hometown because I wanted to travel further and explore different places.
This is when I received a call to relocate to a natural region. I found the perfect location, with a small cottage, nestled in a dense oak forest, overlooking a secluded cove in Exmoor. It was time to develop my creativity and I had many visions, and psychic experiences, which inspired my art.
Later, I moved to Glastonbury, which was an important period in my life as it acted as a powerful catalyst for spiritual growth. I found the energies to be highly transformative and curative. It was an intensely healing journey, which also opened me to many spiritual experiences.
During this period, I started to specialise in oil painting because it is slow drying and lends itself to my channelled approach to art. I have developed and utilised the technique, which is applied in a combination of thin opaque and translucent layers.
In 2016, I had a solo exhibition at Glastonbury Galleries, Glastonbury. In 2017, I was invited to become a member of a private network by Austrian artist Otto Rapp, who is founder of Visionary Art Gallery (vagallery.com) – which includes some of the most renowned Visionary, Surrealistic and Fantastic Realist artists worldwide. My art is also featured in an Encyclopaedia of women artists within the Visionary and Fantastic art tradition. The publication is called: The Lexicon of Fantastic Artists by Professor Gerhard Habarta: ISBN 9783746035307.
During my time in Glastonbury, my interests developed, including my artistic leanings, which were in the esoteric, spirituality, Jungian psychology and healing. In parallel, both dreams and the hypnagogic state began to play a part in facilitating my creative approach.
My art is a reflection of my own inner world, which transcends that of the physical dimension. I believe art is an offshoot of our deepest innermost self, which often manifests in the form of dreams, symbols and visions.
I believe that it is our challenge, as artists, to find a new direction, which honours art and spirit. It is a calling to all Spiritual and Visionary artists to infuse their natural creativity and imagination, and to follow their own original and unique vision. This is the essence of what spiritual art is, it is an expression of the higher self.
I am an open channel for energies and this can sometimes be intense, but it is what inspires me to paint! I ‘see’ and sense the presence of angels, spirit guides, and elementals. They appear to me as impressions and in clear visions, often in glowing and radiant detail.
I am also influenced, in a creative way by the hypnagogic state, which is like being a receptor to different frequencies, which coalesce and overlap at the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep. Hypnagogic visions are of a radiant, hyper real heightened reality. It is like experiencing a multitude of hallucinatory visions – such as colourful and illuminated scenes, humans, animals or strange composite creatures, abstracted forms, geometric shapes, bright lights and a full range of auditory sensory perceptions like sounds and voices. This is the fertile borderline half asleep state that instils flashes of insight and inspiration. It is this hypnagogic process, which has birthed many of my creations.
It is my belief that whenever we are in a relaxed state of reverie, we are receptive to the spirit realm. Spirits watch over us and inspire us to create beautiful art, writing and music. They are often silently present, and guiding us, not only in visions, but also giving us creative insights and inspiration.
I have always followed a creative path, and have been met with many challenges along the way. There have been times of sheer struggle, where I have been tested to the limits. Art is my passion, and despite all the setbacks, I have always been dedicated to my craft.
Part of my development is to open up and share my inner world with others. It has taken many years to understand this, and it has gradually been realised through my own inner guidance and learning.
I also have an avid interest in the fertile world of the imagination where we can access the strange and powerful images within the unconscious. This inner world is latent with endless creative potential, forming a wellspring of ideas and visions. Imagination and fantasies form the creative interplay between our inner and outer world. Many artists enhance their creativity by tapping into this ‘inner realm’, which provides an endless source of inspiration.
When I was going through an intensely challenging time in Glastonbury, I experienced a ‘visitation’ while in a very relaxed hypnagogic state. The entity bore the name of ‘White Hawk’ who came to me as a spiritual messenger and guide, and hovered above, while wrapping his protective wings around me. He had the features of a hawk and a human body, and was adorned with white feathers. I was reassured that there was a way forward and I needed to rise to a higher vantage point in order to find clarity and a solution. I did a drawing of the vision, which was later used as a blueprint for an oil painting.
Angels often feature in my art, and they are such a source of inspiration! I see them as beings of light that act as a powerful, guiding influence in my life. I always sense their presence and often see speckles and flashes of vivid colours, whenever they are present.
I was recently commissioned to paint an Angel of Healing for The Birmingham Holistic Health Centre. Stuart Morris, the founder and director said to me:“I believe you were meant to paint this and channel the presence of the angel that will bring light to many at the centre.” It is a place that has been described as a “portal for angels,” and it has a special energy where both practitioners and visitors have had many different sightings of bright illuminated orbs.
More recently, I have formed a close connection with Mother Mary, and she now plays an important part in my spiritual and devotional practice. She came to me in an unexpected way, while I was going through a very difficult time, which I can only describe as a Dark Night of The Soul. She has blessed me with visions of white and golden roses, and has appeared in a dream where she was adorned with a bright luminous star. My experiences with Mary and the visions that I have seen have inspired me to paint, and write in her honour.
My future plans are to continue with my paintings, which are very much in alignment with my spiritual practices. In addition, I am working on a book, which is a synthesis of my spiritual and creative interests. I am also very interested in connecting with other Visionary and Spiritual artists. I hope to develop more of an affiliation with creative people – from all different backgrounds – and genres. I am especially interested in participating in events, exhibitions and other venues such as workshops, and in engaging with like-minded people through social gatherings.