I was born in Hertfordshire and moved north in 1976 to do a degree in Fine Art at Newcastle University. Following graduation I moved to Leeds. After a few years working mainly on my own as a quiltmaker and painter I felt the need for more contact with people and became interested in psychotherapy, particularly the work of Jung. I trained as a therapist with a charity in Sheffield, and started seeing clients on a voluntary basis in 1987. I was part of that group for 12 years, was a trustee and eventually became its director. I later did some more training in Psychodynamic Counselling with Westminster Pastoral Foundation, and in Buddhist Psychology with Amida Trust. My influences were Jung, humanistic psychology and Eastern and Western meditation practices. I started work as a therapist in private practice in 1991 and continued until 2009, completing over 4000 sessions.
Alongside the therapy I have continued practising as an artist, designer and photographer. Almost all the images on this website are from my drawings, paintings, textiles or photographs. I am also very interested in clothing design, particularly ethnic garments. I have always sewn and knitted and made a lot of my own clothes. I have done textile projects with staff and patients at Wharfedale Hospital in Otley and at the Breast Clinic at the Leeds General infirmary, and have had textiles exhibited in the United States, Denmark and Japan.
In the summer of 2009 I decided to have a year off and have a break from my therapy practice, knowing that I needed a change of direction as well as a time of rest and contemplation. Out of this came the decision to devote more time to developing my painting and committing to serious and intensive work as an artist. I also started offering Life Coaching, particularly for creative people. In early 2011 decided to combine my interest in art, textiles and fashion by also training as an Image Consultant, helping people to find their own personal style and the colours that enhance their natural colouring.
In autumn 2014 I felt called to return to working as a therapist, having had time to establish my painting practice so that I was able to give equal energy to both activities. I was also able to approach therapy with a fresh outlook, having had some distance from it for a while. I continue to be inspired by the work of Jung and the idea that the unconscious mind can guide us with dreams and images.
I embarked on the MA in Creative Practice at Leeds College of Art in September 2016, specialising in painting, photography and textiles. I am really enjoying the experience, having access to the great facilities at the college, the lovely staff and of course meeting and working with my wonderful fellow MA students.
I have lived in Chapel Allerton in north Leeds since 1980. I have a son of 21, a stepson of 25. and two tabby cats. I’m also looking after a rescued hedgehog over the winter. I am a keen but sporadic gardener and enjoy vegetarian cooking. I love singing, and am a member of my local church choir. I have recently started a Sacred Harp singing group in Leeds, this is a form of devotional singing with its origin in 17th century England which was kept alive in the southern states of America. (See www.ukshapenote.org.uk.) I am a committed meditator and am part of Christian and Buddhist communities. I became a Sufi in the Naqshbandi tradition in 2012. For more about this, see www.goldensufi.org.. I have also studied with the German contemporary spiritual teacher, Thomas Hubl.
I also have a blog at imagewheel.wordpress.com. Do have a look.