Hi, I'm Anna!

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I'm a watercolour painter and tutor. My inspiration comes from nature, sunshine and color. Oh, and from you: because my passion is to help you access your creativity and paint the way you've always wanted to.

I'm dedicated to creating resources to help you begin painting, or to take your painting to the next level. Through my books, my free videos, my blog posts and my successful online school,. I've built an audience from over 100 countries and a huge digital following.

But it wasn't always like that...

Hi, I'm Anna!

ylw-sep-600

I'm a watercolour painter and tutor. My inspiration comes from nature, sunshine and color. Oh, and from you: because my passion is to help you access your creativity and paint the way you've always wanted to.

I'm dedicated to creating resources to help you begin painting, or to take your painting to the next level. Through my books, my free videos, my blog posts and my successful online school,. I've built an audience from over 100 countries and a huge digital following.

But it wasn't always like that...

I didn't pick up a brush for years...

Before I started with all this, I hadn't painted, or drawn, or created any art of any sort for 7 years. 7 loooong years.

And yet making art was my true love throughout my whole childhood. Hours and hours...and hours... spent painting in my room.

And wow, did I miss it.

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On the left at age 2 & a painting of my home and garden from when I was 7.

How had this happened?

Well it started when I absorbed the idea that I should pursue a 'sensible', secure job (and that wouldn't be one in art).

So I did History at uni, a stint working in Insurance, a masters in Interactive Media (an attempt to get back to something more creative), and then a string of jobs I didn’t much like.

By my mid 20s, I was working in local government management. It felt about as secure as it got, but hmm, weirdly, my artistic creativity was completely sidelined.

I'd tried a few times in those 7 years to pick up a brush but it always felt so difficult to start. For me my main block was that I could never think of what to paint. And I also had a sense that anything I did paint would be a pretty pointless and frivolous waste of time! Which of course was hilarious considering how much TV I watched.

But, when I was 26, it finally caught up with me.

I just couldn’t ignore the creative longing any longer.

So, for the umpteenth time I thought I would try doing some painting in my spare time...

If she can, I can.

While googling for inspiration, I came across some botanical artwork: detailed paintings of flowers and plants, and it spoke to the part of me that had always loved nature and recently started gardening. I’d found the answer to my ‘what to paint’ block. My painting hand started to itch!

Then I stumbled onto an artist's website. I don't even remember who she was.

But on her About page, there was a photo of her painting in her garden. She said she painted every day. And that she loved it. She even seemed to do it as her full time job.

I experienced a rush of “I WANT THAT” springing from deep within.

It was...well...jealousy. I was surprised by the strength of my reaction, but I knew this was my body's way of telling me this was important. That I needed to pay attention as this was information about what my heart needed.

I had a clear sense that I didn't want to look back on my life with regrets. So I had to go for it.

And then some words came to me, and I am so grateful that they did:

“If she can, I can.”

From that moment, I promised not to shelve my creativity. I promised to bring it centre stage in my life and see where I could go with it.

I bought some professional grade paints and paper and went for it. It felt amazing. The energy that decision gave me was incredible.

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The 1st painting I did in this style in 2006: painted at 41 x 31 cm (16 x 12 inch), 'Physalis.’

My tonic.

Within 2 years of that if-she-can-I-can moment, I won a prestigious award for my painting, had my first sell-out exhibition at Chelsea Flower Show and, with a nervous deep breath, quit that 'sensible job'. I’m so grateful to say, I haven't looked back.

That magical moment was nearly 15 years ago.

Whaaaatt!! It's gone so fast.

It's been a richly detailed, colourful ride. But it’s not all been a breeze. Far from it. Like most of us, I've gone through some heavy stuff in that time (like cancer, divorce and IVF - in that order!). But I've also found my soul-mate, married him, had success with the IVF and welcomed my two beautiful kiddos and the radical changes to my life they have brought in.

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Me exhibiting at Chelsea Flower Show in 2013

Through it all painting has been my constant.

It's been like a restorative tonic: both calming me down and energising me throughout all life's ups and downs.

I can help YOU experience the benefits of painting too.

Fast forward another couple of years and I began to teach alongside exhibiting. This was another massive moment for me: experiencing the joy of helping others to develop their skills and gain confidence in their abilities.

What I also love about teaching is getting to use the trained critical thinker in me, to carefully break down the painting process into clear stages and put it into words. Bringing clarity to that process for others has become my second passion, and I've had two books published so far.

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No more angst.

As I worked with adult students, I became aware of the multitude of blocks that exist for people around making space to nurture their creativity.

To add to the ones I’d experienced myself, I also saw people saying they didn't have the time or the space to paint, or that they couldn't seem to enjoy painting because they feared getting less-than-perfect results; sometimes so much so that they didn't even allow themselves to start. Or they did start and they then got frustrated and disappointed with their skill level.

SO MUCH ANGST over something that they knew on a deeper level would benefit them and be FUN. I feel so much compassion for anyone experiencing this. But it can be overcome and that's now the other main focus of my work: how to help people move past their own internal blocks: so they can paint with ease and without angst.

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My online school.

Teaching via video was a logical next step in order to enable more people to access the teaching from the comfort of their own home.

I've developed my online school with 3 clear goals in mind:

  • Create the clearest videos I can to guide people through the process subject by subject
  • Create opportunities for independent practice
  • To support members to move through any blocks by facilitating a supportive community

I launched the school back in 2014 and since then I’ve taught over 15,000 people.

Members have gone on to exhibit themselves and even turn pro with their own Etsy sites, commissions and exhibitions. It’s hugely rewarding to see people reaching their creative potential.

So now I get to help other people (you?) find their own way back to painting, to Their creativity and to themselves.

If I did it, so can you.

These days I’m amazed to say that my life seems quite a lot like that artist’s whose About page I was inspired by all that time ago!

I can’t say I quite paint everyday at the moment (my two toddlers put pay to that!).

But I can say that I love it.

If I can help you have your own: “if she can-I-can” moment by providing inspiration and clear tuition, I would be honoured.

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If you'd like to try the first step of this journey with me, be sure to click here try out the free classes I offer here on my website: they'll give you the opportunity to see if my approach can assist you.

If you sign up, you’ll also get emails from me every couple of weeks with painting tips and motivational blogs all aimed at helping you to paint.

And beyond that I hope you'll connect with me on social media:

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With love!

Anna
xox