About Elfie

Hello! I’m Elfie. Wife, Mama, Nurse & (beginner watercolour artist).

I’ve always loved drawing and painting for as long as I can remember.  At school, I would sit and listen intently at story time, in awe of the magic that words can create.

Up until 2 years ago, I thought I wasn’t really that good at art and the thought of sharing any of my creative attempts with the world would make me laugh! As Henri Matisse once said: “Creativity takes courage”.

For many years, I have let my perfectionist side get the better of me. Working with watercolour has helped me challenge that trait, as it is not a medium to be totally controlled and manipulated, and of course that is the very beauty of its quality. Nothing is exact, or precise; it is so unpredictable and continues to provide unique opportunities and challenges. I love the transparency and romantic serendipitous nature of the way the paint behaves on the page. There really is nothing like it. This is likely the reason I enjoy painting the natural world so much as for me, it captures the power of imperfection; which is huge inspiration for me.

Following the hazy chaos of 2020 (& after riding the “Coronacoaster” a fair few times), I am not ashamed to say my mental health took a very strong hit. I found the courage to hold my hand up and say I was not okay. Following lots of support from my loved ones and our amazing NHS, I have now turned a corner; although the “black dog” does try to pull me back sometimes (look it up on YouTube – it’s an incredibly accurate visualisation of depression).

I decided it was time to prioritise me. Whether I thought I was “good” or not, I always found being creative helped to cheer me up – so I thought it was time to find my creative mindset that had seemed to have faded. I made a commitment to become kinder to myself and part of this was to prioritise me (as a Mother, and Macmillan Nurse by profession this doesn’t come naturally to me at all).

With a then 8 month old, I used my time on an evening (& sometimes during nap times) to practice. I watched hundreds of YouTube videos and Instagram stories in various different techniques and skills. Not only did I find it incredibly empowering to learn something new, I also find watching other people paint so therapeutic and relaxing. Creating art is a mindful activity and I love the way it encourages me to slow down, be patient and be expressive. My creations are still a work in progress and I can’t wait to build upon the skills I’ve picked up and of course learn new ones. Of course, over the past year there has been many paintings that have been a mess (!) but the good ones were attractive beyond technical success. I saw an authentic expression within them. I was finding my own voice in watercolour, in art.

To use G. K. Chesterton sums it up well: “At the back of our brains, so to speak, there was a forgotten blaze or burst of astonishment at our own existence. The object of the artistic and spiritual life was to dig for this submerged sunrise of wonder.” 

Follow me and my journey on Instagram @elfiepaints