• debibarr

The story behind the art

When I was a little girl I often felt powerless. My parents were much older than everyone else's parents and both had health issues, both physical and mental. I would often retreat into my own little world. More often than not this would involve my teddy bears and some form of creativity. Sometimes I would draw, sometimes write. Often I would play school with my bears. I would pretend to be a teacher and they were my students. This was my way of escaping into my magical world of imagination.

Teddy bear on a child's bed

I was aware of spirit animals from a young age. Sometimes I felt their presence so viscerally that I would run screaming into my parents' bedroom shouting that a lion was coming up the stairs. I soon learned that these guides were my allies. And not everybody needed to know about them. Staying quiet became my default mode of operation. I observed people around me. Noticing changes in mood and vibration - although I didn't know then that I was tuning into energy and frequency.

I found that when I created something - either a drawing or an imaginary classroom with my bears, I was free. I was free to be myself. The magic of nature came to life around me. I found I could feel the connections between things. As a natural little empath I often struggled to understand the adults around me. I regularly felt their angst and pain. It took me years to work out what was my emotion and what belonged to others.

One of my early oil paintings from 2016
Fairy Forest - Oil Painting

My dad loved to paint. I suppose for him it was an escape from his health concerns. Even now when I open a tube of oil paint or smell linseed oil, it takes me back to childhood. His paintings would sit on the easel for days and weeks as he worked on them. Dad was my world. He was really strict and terrifying sometimes but I loved him so much. His intelligence and thirst for knowledge inspired me so much. When he died suddenly at the age of 58 I was totally bereft. I was only 14.

Art became a way for me to escape the pain. I could express emotions by drawing and writing. Whilst the pictures never really came to much back then, the process of escaping into my own world saved me. It saved me from the heaviness of my own grief and my mum's. I had to grow up fast and watch out for mum. Learning to navigate teenage years is never easy. It is even harder when you lose your anchor.

As I moved into adulthood I lost connection with my creative self. Study then work, marriage and kids all took priority. I forgot who I was and what meant the most to me. As I approached my late twenties and early thirties I fell into a deep depression. Stressed out, working too hard, not taking time for me - I'm sure you can identify!

Thankfully I never lost my love of nature, magic and spirituality. I discovered that when I was outside in nature, my mood was brighter. Drawing with my kids became a wonderful way to reconnect with my creative spirit. Discovering Reiki in 2011 brought about a world of healing for me. Over the last 10 years I have turned my life around and part of that process involved rediscovering art.

Reflective oil painting of a person in contemplation by a lake
Lakeside Contemplation

As I learned how to soft brush oil paints into beautiful blends, I felt free again. Watching a blank canvas turn into a gorgeous forest scene inspired me. I felt the magical connection of nature again. No sooner had I finished one painting I was hungry to work on another. People responded to the natural scenes. They felt the joy of nature. Experienced the magic of a fairy forest as they were drawn into my work. I discovered a real love for landscapes in oil paints. Trees, rivers, sunsets, seascapes, or anything natural called to me.

As an artist, I do like to try new things. I have experimented with abstract work, painted watercolour animals and tried my hand at figurative work. But my favourite is always the natural world and oil landscapes. It connects me with the deepest part of who I am. I hope my work touches you and helps you find yourself as you wander through the scenes on the canvas.

Loose style watercolour fox
One of my new watercolour animal paintings

I will continue to experiment, play and enjoy my art. Hopefully you will feel that sense of joy and wonder as you look at the pieces that resonate with you. My mission is to help people find themselves and discover their inner spark. As a wellness coach and Reiki teacher, I do this everyday in my business, Rocks n Rituals. I now want to extend that into my art and by offering a selection of original artwork, prints and classes, serve you from a place of magical wonder, love and light.

Please do browse the site, follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and connect with me. We are all intrinsically connected by natural energy. I hope you feel the love from my heart to yours.

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