What a Year 2017 has been!
A year of many firsts, and a year so packed full of events, I haven’t found the time to blog. Shame on me when I’ve had so much to share. Never fear, I’m here now…with news of my latest adventure which was scary and exciting at the same time!
Last week, I accepted an invitiation from the Bramshott and Liphook Art and Craft Society to hold a Talk/Demo about my feather painting.
This had actually been booked for over a year, and in my mind was always ages away, so I need not worry about it. But as time has flown so very quickly this year, November 7th came around very quickly and I had to get my head around it, and fast!!
Not only did I have to prepare what I would say, I needed visuals and work to demonstrate. I also had to plan for the 3 hour drive there and back – traffic hold ups were a real concern.

My husband was roped in to teach me how to create a power point presentation (thanks Nic!) and I had fun searching through all my old photos to find the most relevant images for my story.

Along with the powerpoint, I took a selection of my framed feathers, some prints and cards and my new banner to make an interesting display.

The journey to Hampshire was not a pleasant one – rain and early darkness meant road conditions, particularly spray from lorries, made it a tough drive. Despite the conditions, I arrived in plenty of time, and with the help of Andy from the society, I set up my display and powerpoint presentation ready for the talk.

I’ve demonstrated my painting many times now during various exhibitions, including my time earlier this year as Artist In Residence at Nature In Art, but this was the first time I’d had a large audience sitting in tiers of raised seating, with spotights on me, and using a powerpoint presentation to help me!! The nerves were jangling for sure!!
Having said that, both Andy and Carolynne from the society, who had asked me to talk, made me feel at ease. As the members arrived and took their seats, I could feel they were a friendly bunch and I began to feel excitement take over from the nerves.

7.30 pm arrived and it was time for me to begin…and I did! Andy introduced me, and off I went. For all the worry and nerves, I thoroughly enjoyed telling my story which I began with
the question I’m asked the most: “What on earth made you paint on a feather?” So my story explains exactly how it started, with a chance meeting with a falconer and his birds of prey at a children’s birthday party.

Unbelievably for me, my talk lasted a good 45 minutes! I answered some questions and then we stopped for a tea/coffee break which gave everyone a chance to take a closer look at my feathers and my other items on display.
After coffee came my feather painting demonstration, where I explained and demonstrated my working process, from choosing a feather, selecting an image, deciding on composition, application of paint and refining the image with a little bit about framing to finish.

At this point, Andy was filming me painting over my shoulder using a video camera which very cleverly projected the video up onto the big screen behind me! This allowed everyone in the audience to see exactly what I was doing. I know this kind of thing happens all the time, but this was the first time for me and it was really exciting!
We finished the demo with some very interesting questions from the audience and I realised I had a beaming smile across my face.

In sharing my story with the aim of inspiring others, I realised how happy and lucky I am to be doing what I do, and more importantly, I felt a huge sense of achievement realising how far I’ve come since the day I met those beautiful birds in February 2009.

Sometimes a nudge out of our comfort zones can be a really good thing! So, thank you very much to Carolynne Winchester and the Bramshott and Liphook Arts and Crafts Society for giving me that nudge.

My display and demo area including my banner.

Me ready to begin my talk.

My view of the audience.

Demonstrating with the big screen behind me.

Demonstrating feather painting.

Mid-flow, demonstrating the qualities of a suitable feather.

The various stages of a feather painting