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I went from teaching Modern Languages to printmaking without any formal training. I'd never done a watercolour, never learned to use pencils, ink or pastels and despite observing and making art for years, I felt as though I was on shaky ground. A change of direction meant discovering a whole new range of materials and then deciding what worked for me. In some ways I was like a child let loose in a sweetshop. Just the sight of a set of oil pastels or coloured pencils was thrilling and I set off on a journey of discovery. This is the story.

It includes a lot of generous tutors, many of them friends, and I would like to thank them all.

The painting and mixed media tutors
Bridget Woods, Carole Robson and Angelo Pizzigallo
The drawing tutors
Andrew Fitchett and Frances Hatch
The botanical painters
The late Elizabeth Smail, Sandrine Maugy, Hazel West-Sherring, Mariella Baldwin, Gael Sellwood, Billy Showell, Christina Hart-Davies and Sue J Williams
The coloured pencil artists
Roger Reynolds, Susan Christopher-Coulson and Janie Pirie