As a little insight into my life, I’m sharing work by members of my very talented family.
IMMERSED IN ART
I grew up with art in my life; from those magical moments I remember from a very young age, when my dad took his parents’ massive art folder out from under the bed to show us their incredible, fragile works, to my A-Level in Art when I immersed myself in museums and books, and my Masters degree at the University of Glasgow during which I studied History of Art.
With so many creative types in my family, it’s no wonder I’ve always had an interest in making things. Whether hours spent as a child painting away with my tongue sticking out in rapt concentration (dad has the photo evidence to prove it) or hours spent leaning over my desk to create my papercuts, it’s clear I’ve always had it in me!
|Me at work!|
MY CLEVER GRANDPARENTS
First off are the two biggest creative influences in my life; my paternal grandparents.
Sadly, I never met my granny and grandad – Mary Millicent and Ronald Frederick Holmes; they were killed in a car crash before I was born.
Both were immensely talented. Granny was a milliner, dress designer and wonderful artist; she could just look at my sister and run her up a perfectly-fitting dress in minutes. She was a classically beautiful woman (I must find a photo to show you) and all the old pics I’ve seen of her just ooze effortless style. I’m the proud owner of her beautiful Jones sewing machine.
|R. F. Holmes: Hartlepool Docks, early 1950s (colour lithograph)|
Grandad was a very skilled artist and graphic design teacher at Leeds College of Art. He also designed textiles and worked in commercial graphics (our family claim to fame is that my grandad redesigned the ‘g’ on the Carlsberg logo because he spotted that it wasn’t typographically correct!).
This painting (below), which hangs in my kitchen, is a study for a lino cut. Grandad was renowned for his printmaking, with some lino cuts featuring upwards of 30 colours. He was also a great typographer, graphic designer and photographer. Several of his prints are held at the Victoria and Albert Museum (some viewable here) in London and many remain with the family.
Closely linked to my grandparents is Eric Taylor. He was my Dad’s godfather and a close friend of my grandad. I had the pleasure of meeting Eric, who died age 90 in 1999. I remember him as a very elderly man; I remember his house which was full of fascinating objects. I also went to a retrospective of his work in a Hull art gallery (I think it was Hull!). At the time of first meeting him I don’t think I knew anything of his war background; I just remember looking at the ceramic fish and wrought iron sculptures around his home and thinking he seemed a real character.
MY CREATIVE AUNT
Granny and Grandad’s daughter, my aunt aunt Christine, is now based in Napier, New Zealand. With a background in textile and graphic design, Christine has excelled in ceramics, textile arts, silk painting and wearable art. She’s now a Community Arts Manager and works with Creative Napier to organise festivals and events like town-wide yarn-bombing. This photo (taken from a book, sorry for the quality!) shows one of her creations for the World of WearableArt (WOW)
|Fantale (by Christine Heaney)|
MY CLEVER SISTER
My sister, Steph, is a busy mum of two who still manages to find the time to paint beautiful pieces like this stunning canvas (which is in my bedroom). Now based in the Yorkshire Dales, she studied art at degree level and has had a solo exhibition at a National Trust property. Now her girls are at school, she’s set up her own business page to sell her paintings, which include botanical pieces like this, gouache works and 3D mixed media canvases.
|Lillies (by Stephanie Owen-Standford)|
Clever ‘eh? Once she lets me know what her brand new FB page is called, you guys will be the first to know!
I’m very proud of my big sis 🙂