When I look back at my life and how it has been influenced by women, I really have to start with my Grandmother Jeanne. As a child, and through my early teenage years, I used to spend my weekends split between my Mother and Father. As my Father always seemed to be ‘otherwise engaged’, it was his Mother who looked after me. She taught me so much, about nature, wildlife, cooking and other interesting things like the wonderful music of opera and the pleasure of visiting art galleries. She fiercely supported me, my ideas and dreams, and because of this, she was a huge influence that still remains with me today.
Through my school years, I always enjoyed art, although it was frowned upon a little (being a very academic based school) I was never put off though, and with the encouragement of my art teacher, I went on to study art at college. This was where I met the next woman who impacted my life, particularly my art life. Val was my Life Drawing tutor, she was so talented but in such a quiet way. She was the kind of artist who could pick up a piece of charcoal and a page of newsprint and make it into something beautiful with seemingly no effort. To say that I was in awe of her, is probably true. She encouraged me to be brave, and sometimes reckless and to always ‘have a go’.
It’s not really until more recently, that I have come across the last two influential women. The first of these is a former work friend of mine called Grainne. She had to leave her job due to illness but we always kept in touch. A year after she left, I also had to take some extended time from work due to illness, and it was through this that we decided to have regular ‘coffee and chat’ days once a week. Grainne was writing a book, (following her dream), and each week she used to share some of her ideas, and it was during these conversations that I began to realise how I had almost forgotten about my passion. Somewhere along the way of life, jobs and family, I had forgotten about my art. Grainne inspired me to ‘have another go’. She made me realise that I was good enough, my art was good enough. She gave me the confidence to start making art again, and I have never stopped since!
Through Grainne’s encouragement, I decided to start ‘putting some of my art out there’ to see what would happen. At the same time, I started watching YouTube videos and this was where I came across a video by Suzi Blu. It really touched a nerve with me when I heard her say “what are you waiting for? you are good enough, you are an artist” I know it sounds a little silly, but I felt like she was saying it to me. Hearing this was the extra push that I needed, so I started making art of some kind every day after that.Eventually, I created a picture that I actually felt proud of, and put it on Facebook, and tagged every female artist that I could think of, to hopefully get them to look at it and maybe give a little feedback.
I was overwhelmed when I returned later to see if any had responded. I had supporting comments from some of my art heroines, and other lovely people too. The best surprise was waiting in my email… I had a message from Suzi asking if she could publish my picture in her upcoming book! Talk about a WOW moment.
Since then, I have gone on to set up my blog Art Eye Candy, I have started making YouTube tutorials, and now I after having lots of requests for a book from me, I have started writing book proposals.
I honestly believe that without the support of these, and many other women in my life, I wouldn’t be following my dream right now.
But I am, and it feels great.
You can see more about Rachelle at:
Her blog link is http://www.arteyecandy.com
Her facebook link is https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1490347635
Her youtube channel is http://www.youtube.com/user/ArtEyeCandyHer favorite blog is http://suziblu.typepad.com/