I was at a low ebb, the children were young, I felt I was a failure and not able to succeed at anything. It was at this point that I recalled how right from a child I had enjoyed dabbling with a paint brush, a pastime my granddaughter now also enjoys.
My father was my greatest critic, always offering good advice and encouragement when it was needed. Then he died ~ and so did my courage and confidence in my ability to paint.
As the children were growing up, I once again renewed my love of painting. No longer using water colour and oils, I chose pastel as my medium. I found it very useful to be able to pick up, put down and put away, particularly when the chores needed doing!
It was at this point that I sat down at my easel and prayed to God that, if I really had been blessed with a talent, I may be guided to use it to the best of my ability.
I don’t remember when it happened exactly, but there came a turning point and I was encouraged by friends to join the Broadstone Art Club. Painting pictures of animals was my first love, then moving on to landscapes. At the Club I enjoyed painting the portraits of long suffering models, many of them Church members, who sat for us week by week. It was always interesting looking at other people's work and the different ways we had portrayed the models. Then the revealing moment at the finish as the model viewed his/ her likeness, or not!
It all came together in 1996, a major turning point in my life. At the exhibitions, people were actually buying my pictures. I couldn’t believe it when I won the ‘public vote for the best picture’ two years running, that was the highlight of my painting career!
When we were building our new Church, Dennis Hill, now President of the Art Club, and myself sold pictures of our work for the Church Building Fund at our big Autumn Fayre. This was a very happy time for us all watching our Church grow. As you go around the homes of many of our Church members you will see our pictures hanging on their walls.
After we moved into our new premises, some of our Church members got together to make banners. We have banners for all special occasions. If you come into the Church you will find them gracing the wall in the front of the Sanctuary. In the autumn we hope to make one which will be suitable for all occasions.
Since then my Church work has become a major part of my life, firstly as a Steward and then for many years as Pastoral Secretary and my painting has taken a back seat, I didn’t have time to devote to the Club any longer, and so with regret, I relinquished my membership at the Art Club a couple of years ago.
It is a while now since I painted my last picture, but the board is ready and the paper placed on it and I have made a start . . .
We thank God for the talents we are given and pray that we may use them wisely and well.