Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world


People often ask me about painting. Especially now I teach courses in making art internationally and do a fair amount of public speaking,  I am asked many questions about my own process and my relationship to my own paintings  Over the years, as paintings have gone off to exhibitions and galleries and I have hosted many Open Studio Days, I have written an artist's statement on many occasions, as artists are supposed to do. I observe constant shifts in consciousness bringing fresh insights. I doubt those will ever end! This means that I am always engaged in re-writing and trying to find even better words for processes that happen in the place beyond words! Today those artists statements are interesting artefacts because they track and map my creative journey over decades!

I will illustrate this page with paintings taken from three decades of painting, with some of my oldest work at the top and some of my most recent work appearing at the bottom.

The encounter with white canvas

For me every painting starts with an encounter with a blank canvas or white sheet of paper.. There is a seed concept: an idea, a colour, a shape, a piece of music, a sudden insight, a possible marriage of two unlikely things perhaps. Once I start the process of painting I am in dialogue with the spirit of the painting I am working on. That which seeks coming into form and embodiment through art actually guides the process. 

In shamanism we call this hollowing out or being a hollow bone for Spirit, for luminous beings from other realms. Beings more evolved than myself come forward offer a higher perspective on events on Earth and a glimpses of other worlds behind the Veil.

<  UNDERTAKING Oil Painting 1994

 The following prints were made while I was training as an art (psycho) therapist in the early 1990s     ART THERAPY

 Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world



Monoprint   1993


Monoprint  1993



Mixed media  1993


Mixed Media  1993

About selling paintings

Do I sell paintings? Yes. Will I sell any painting to absolutely anyone who expresses interest in it? No!

In our culture we often rate artists (and authors!) by their sales The selling of work means that other people put value on what we do. To be "successful" we need to regularly sell paintings or sell many copies of a book. My younger self, fresh out of art school, "bought into this". Art School instils a very particular idea of what it means to be a professional (and commercially successful) artist!

Over the years my own helping spirits have taught me many powerful lessons and my perception has shifted completely.

Once someone got in touch about buying a painting. The spirits said  no, it is a piece of your soul they are trying to buy, don't do it!  

Another time I promised someone a painting of a very powerful goddess. This painting went missing for two years and only reappeared recently. She was not willing to go and she was angry that I had not consulted her before making the promise. Rightly so! Lesson learned!!

However, most of the time when people get in touch about buying a painting, the spirit of the painting is thrilled and very excited. Everything flows very smoothly and all arrangements fall into place easily. Then I say my goodbyes and the painting starts a new life in a new home. (While I was at art school the teachers warned us against people "choosing a painting to go with the colours of their sofa". In truth I have not seen much of this over 30 of selling art!)

>  DADDY IS A BALLOON  1997 Oil Painting (title inspired by a paper on Art Therapy)

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world


Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

Mixed Media 1993
Monoprint 1993


Monoprint 1993
Monoprint 1993

 Paintings as Trusted Allies and Teachers

Time of writing is December 2016. Last weekend I gave a presentation at "Threshold", the annual conference of The Gatekeeper Trust for 2016. There was a beautiful audience of about 100 people. I had a made a power point presentation in which many of my own paintings (inspired by spiritual work done all over the world) appeared.

After that talk (and the reactions I received from many people) I could put into words something I have always known, on some level: the spirits embodied by my own paintings are my trusted allies and teachers. They go wherever I go. They will often go on missions too, performing healing work for a person, family or location or appearing in someone's dream to provide important guidance on a big decision or career move.

In that moment I realised that for me painting is about a life led by and dedicated to Spirit. It is about an intimate relationship with powerful beings that come forward  to help those on Earth - but they can only do so if we invite them and welcome their help.

It was not just me giving a presentation: it was me and my whole team, all of us doing this! It was not nervous, only overjoyed. This presentation was filmed and you can watch it on Youtube or the FILMS & VIDEOS page here.

I also did think: I need to write this on my website as it could be a powerful message for other artists: moving beyond this paradigm of measuring success by sales and paintings sold! It has given me an immense sense of peace and soul purpose, working this way. And this is the way of working I teach my own sacred art students on different continents.

<  GUARDIAN ANGEL   1997  Oil painting

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

Oil Painting  1997
Oil Painting 1997
Oil Painting 1998   
Oil Painting 1997

FAQ - A few more answers to questions I am asked very often

What materials do you use?

Before I had children I loved using oil paint on canvas (though  also made mono prints and mixed media artwork on paper). However, oil paint is quite toxic because metallic resins are used to create the different hues (Cadmium Orange and Yellow, Zinc White etc.) and so is turpentine. For that reason I switched to acrylic paints months before even trying to for a babyas I did not want my unborn children to be exposed to these resins and fumes.

In recent years I have developed a particular fondness for making short art films because this allows me to mix paintings, digital photographs, myths poems and stories as well as music and moving images all at the same time to arrive at one seamless creation. 


This process has also brought a revival of working in black and white to create print-like stark images. I am greatly enjoying the multi-media experience that new technology makes possible!

Do you undertake a shamanic journey before you make a painting?

No, the process of painting IS the journey! Only better because I get to stay "in the zone" for a whole working day! (Say 8 hours rather than 30 minutes!) A journey can easily be the starting point of a painting. For instance in 2014 I did one journey where I was told that I "am an Apprentice of the Waning Moon" and that led to a painting by that title. 

How do you work with dreams?

For me keeping a dream journal is a daily practice. My husband risks his life if he talks to me in the mornings before I have written up my dream notes! I do oneiric work (shamanic dreamwork) with all my students as well.  Many of my paintings were inspired by dreams.


 Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

Acrylic paint on canvass, 80 x 100 cm   
Acrylic paint on canvas  80 x 100 cm

Acrylic paint on canvass

EAST OF THE SUN AND WEST OF THE MOON, named for a Norwegian fairy-tale  (Østenfor sol og vestenfor måne)   Mixed media on paper    2015