Hi, I’m Glenda, a visual artist and tutor with a wide range of creative interests. This is my personal blog where I hope to share my creations and make new connections with people who share my passions.
My “paintbrush” may be a traditional one with bristles or it may be a crochet hook, a syringe of dye, a rubber stamp, a Gelli plate, a pastel laden sponge, an image torn from a magazine or a piece of driftwood dipped in ink!
I’m messy, addicted to colour and have a talent for gazing into the distance and falling down rabbit holes.
The Back Story
I spent fifteen years at the heart of the UK craft industry and you may have come across me in the past as the founder of Chocolate Baroque, Elusive Images Rubber Stamps and Graphicus.
I recently updated my CV and was amazed at all the things I did during that time. I contributed articles to craft magazines such as Crafts Beautiful, Craft Stamper and other craft magazines, had my artwork published in two mixed media books, ran my own monthly stamping club (The Graphicus Guild and later The Baroque Guild) and designed several CD collections of printable patterned papers under the brand name Artylicious.
I also spent seven years demonstrating stamps and craft products on a TV shopping channel and my star achievement there was to pioneer a new format of short ‘direct to camera’ tutorials with products such as Derwent Pencils, Glimmer Mists and Stampbord. This led on to creating a number of online craft classes with ‘My Creative Classroom’ (no longer active) and ‘Mojo Monday’ a 6 month weekly series of free stamping tutorials with Chocolate Baroque.
We expanded twice into bigger premises as the company grew and ended up with a huge unit in Barnard Castle where we set up a shop and teaching studio, alongside the mail order warehouse and stamp manufacturing side of the business. My fondest memories are of the open days we used to run which gave people a chance to come along and watch demonstrations as well as socialise with like minded crafters. I know of many special friendships which were forged at those events and at our Paradise Weekend Retreats.
As a retailer, manufacturer and wholesaler, running the business involved a lot of travel to trade shows, retail shows, in-store demonstrations and buying trips. There were many, many happy times, but behind the scenes my husband Adrian and I were also dealing with the failing health of his parents, and as the economic crash bit both us and our network of stockists hard, ultimately something had to give.
There followed a couple of really awful years of many types of loss and endings which it is still hard to talk about, and which to be honest, we are still healing from. However, I do believe that times of great stress, grief and pain can be a powerful teacher and motivate you to higher goals.
Following the Dream
During those dark times, Adrian and I did our best to stay positive and we dreamed about a different future, of a house by the sea where we could build a new lifestyle that allowed us to spend quality time with each other and with our friends and family. I visualised a light filled studio where I could paint and teach. For a long time it was a dream out of our reach, but dark times pass, as they always do, and eventually we found ourselves in a position to make that dream a reality.
We have been living by the sea in Portpatrick since 2014 in a modern, light filled house with a wonderful studio where I can comfortably teach up to 8 students. We offer bed and breakfast and I paint and teach workshops. It’s a lifestyle with a new set of challenges, but we’re pretty sure it is one that is healthier with a better work-life balance.
My professional fine art website and online shop
Our bed and breakfast website
My personal facebook page
A facebook group for workshop students
My fine art facebook page