A Creative Life


At first, when all of these restrictions started, I enjoyed seeing my feeds explode with art post after art post. It was a refreshing change from sport and politics and the general doom and gloom the media likes to drown us in. Finally, I thought, the world would have no choice but to see the importance of the creative arts. Like so many others I shared with gusto in the hope it would become fact.

New learning opportunities were popping up everywhere too supported by encouraging memes telling me if I didn't learn something new through this lockdown then I lacked motivation. Well, that is not me I thought, I've always been driven! Artists were posting both paid and free courses, galleries were opening up virtual tours and I just knew I had to make the most of these extraordinary times and take advantage of all that was on offer! I was going to come out of this thing as one of the clever ones who seized the moment!

I started with a free 13 hour portraiture course which was truly incredible (if you're into that sort of thing) and I learned more that I could have hoped for. I did have this niggling thought that I was in the middle of another painting but I convinced myself it could wait. Before I knew it I had a whole folder full of art related links and projects that I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into. I was still waiting for a delivery of art supplies anyway so I figured I had the time and these really were extraordinary times.

Or were they?

As a practicing artist, my life has not really changed that much. I still spend most of my time in my studio, I am still taking regular commissions and I am still producing new art on a regular basis, hence I am still a practicing artist and I am still very busy. Add to that, in normal circumstances, I am tending to my family, going to my sons football, supporting my daughters studies, engaging with my husband and doing other non art related forms of entertainment. Variety is good and it's healthy and it keeps me motivated. Unfortunately it is missing at the moment. Sport is suspended, our businesses are temporarily closed and the truth is there is only so much art related stuff I can do before I long for contrast.

My excitement became overwhelm when I started trying to convince myself that I 'should' be taking advantage of these things but in truth I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I started questioning my own practices and ways of doing things because I was suddenly being bombarded with online classes and videos and artists everywhere advertising themselves and their products and all of the amazing things they are doing and, of course, how successful they all are. Then came the art business emails -, learn how to sell more art! 10 ways to know your market! Are you making these 7 mistakes? Are you really an artist?

I found my enthusiasm turning into something else and at some point I fell into the worst of artist's traps.....comparing myself to others. Am I doing enough? Am I relevant? Should I be doing things differently? OMG there are so many artists out there! How will I be noticed?

The art world has taken a huge hit during this crisis and artists everywhere are doing whatever they can to survive and get by. Art promotion is becoming relentless with nothing else to dilute it so it is not surprising that with that comes a sense of urgency and overwhelm followed closely by self doubt.

I had to stop reading social media for a spell and have since reminded myself of where I am at and what I have personally achieved. I have concluded that while I like to learn new things, I will only do it as needed during timeframes that work for me in and around the commitments I already have.

If you are in a position to take advantage of what's on offer then by all means go for it. There is much on offer.

If, however, you are feeling overwhelmed, as I was, then please gently remind yourself that comparison and self doubt kill creativity. If you learn something new during this time great. If you don't also great! We are all on our own path. Just do what you can when you can with what you have! Most importantly, keep creating in your own way.

Yours in art, Cherie xxx


As we head toward the end of this decade faster than my acrylic paint can dry, I find myself with a sparkling Rose in hand, contemplating the year that was. Honestly? It was amazing!

This year has taught me that amazing people do exist in this world, Kind, giving and authentic people who fill your soul and are generous of their time, knowledge and friendship. In a society full of pretence and superficiality I have discovered beautiful arty souls who have kept me lifted and optimistic in a world that does its best to do the opposite.

This year has taught me that the world needs art and artists now more than ever. Artists offer so many different points of view and they express it in ways that we can all understand no matter who we are, where we are from and what defines our lives. For me, art is speaking in colours.

This year has taught me that getting out of your comfort zone is a good thing. Putting yourself out there is scary but do it anyway. I would not have done half the things I have this year if I didn't stretch myself.

This year has taught me that the best piece of advice I can give you is to not worry about what other people may or may not think of you. Honestly, it is none of your business. There are always critics, naysayers and doubters but there are also appreciators, encouragers and optimists. Just focus on your reasons why. I stand by my art but I also accept it's not for everyone. This is a good thing because it means there is room for all kinds of art and artists. All art has an audience. All art is necessary. Your art is needed. Do it with conviction. If you are not an artist yourself (I think we all are secretly) then support an artist you like and buy a piece of their art. It will mean the world to them and you'll have something that gives you joy for the rest of your life.

This year has taught me the importance of having support and being supportive. I could not do what I do without the support of my family but they could not have done the things they have without my support. We are all happier for it. I truly love my family.

Lastly this year has taught me the importance of making the time to do the things that fill our hearts. I am so filled with joy. If we can do more of what we love we have more love to give. Kindness flows. Tolerance blooms. Contentment spreads. Love heals.

Thank you to those of you who have come on this journey with me. I am so blessed to have you in my life. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Love Filled New Year.

Cherie xxx

Images: Anemones & Trinity

I did art right through High School, it was my absolute favourite subject so much so,I would hang out in the art rooms every recess and lunch. As a kid I also tried figure skating, ballet and jazz but overall art seemed to be my thing.

Sadly, that all changed at the end of High School when I felt my major work had not received a very good mark. In hind sight I have no idea what grading any of the other students got so it was a massive assumption to make and worst of all it caused me to put down my pencils and brushes. It disheartens me now to think how many times I have heard this same scenario since.

My family urged me to be practical and put me into a secretarial course which was useful and did end up landing me in media. I had 10 fun and exciting years working for a TV and radio station, while I studied marketing and went into selling advertising, coming up with ad concepts and designing whole promotional campaigns for businesses. I was actually pretty intuitive about it and seemed to have a knack for knowing what motivated customers. At 27 I joined a band. Now I realise that sounds completely random but my Dad and Uncle were musicians and I did harbour a secret desire to perform and I had had singing lessons in my early 20s. As it turned out, again, I was pretty good at it. So here I was at 27 singing in my first band and I was full of joy. Over the next 10 years I did stage shows, cabaret shows, variety shows, endless wedding gigs and a number of really high quality musicals, a live radio show and I produced a CD of 13 original songs. The connections enabled my daughter and I to have extras roles in the movie 'Backyard Ashes' leaving me with an IMDB profile which to this day I find highly amusing. I mean seriously, what a ride!

So what is the point I'm trying to make here? Well, at the age of 43, I found myself having to move for family reasons and I had to leave all of these fun adventures behind me and a fleeting 3 years after that I was completely consumed by depression. I could see no reason for my existence, nothing to look forward to and absolutely no reason to get out of bed other than being the facilitator for the lives of my husband and two children.

I had also spent years studying personal development. Countless books and seminars on the 'Law of Attraction' Creating your Best Material Life' blah blah blah and while I understood the concepts and I was overall very happy, they seemed to be promoting the 'it's ok to want more' concept and I just could never seem to make it fit into my existence in any meaningful way and now, shockingly and unexpectedly, I was at the lowest I had ever been. Clearly something in my life was not working.

In a desperate effort to try something, anything, I picked up the brushes again. Just for fun, something to do and a remarkable thing happened. I began to smile again, I still felt guilty about this little pleasure of mine that absorbed some of the family budget and certainly didn't seem to contribute to it but I just couldn't stop. I felt happier, more optimistic and in a very short period of time, the family noticed it too.

Then I read a wonderful book by Julia Cameron entitled 'The Artists Way' It caught my attention in the book store and inside I found all of the personal development I had learned applied to a creative life. Suddenly everything made sense and I had the tools I needed to move forward.

3 years later, I have a wonderful life and I have installed my first solo. exhibition. So what changed? What was the miracle event that turned me back on.........

In my very honest and humble opinion? It was creativity! It had come back into my life.

When I look back over the years I see creativity in many different forms. Art, Dancing, Acting, Performing, Figure Skating and Media. All of these things are creative in their own ways.

The lesson I gained is simply this. 'Creative people MUST be allowed to create'. It doesn't seem to matter what form it takes or how little time you can find to do it initially, so long as you are creating. Creativity is a beautiful intuitive journey that connects us all. It leads us along an unknown path which is divine in it's own discovery, filling our souls to the very depths of our being. It helps us expand into the best versions of ourselves by filling us up from the inside which in turn gives us the required strength to project our joy back out into the World.

This is what I want. A joyous, creative World filled with happy creative people. Surely that can't be a bad thing.

A selection of works from my 'Symbiosis' Exhibition

Tel. 0428485548 | Email. cheriemedwayart@gmail.com

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