Welcome to my blog.
I am a visual and community artist living in Longridge, Lancashire. I sell my paintings through various galleries and exhibitions as well as producing private commissions for individuals and business. I also spend most of my days during term time running art workshops and community art projects throughout Lancashire. I have a custom built studio at the end of my garden, which is where I can be found most evenings and throughout the school holidays if I’m not off somewhere on an adventure!
I have been drawing and painting all my life, but my real passion for the art began when I studied photography and then art at A-level. Leaving sixth form with the art prize under my belt, I then continued my studies at the University of York where I completed an honours degree in Philosophy in 1999.
After my degree, i was just painting as a hobby, when a local businessman asked me to produce some original paintings for the walls of his new restaurant. The opening of ‘Thyme’ was a great success and almost entirely by word of mouth, my career as an artist snowballed. I have produced many commissioned pieces for satisfied customers in the years since and have been approached by interested parties from all walks of life. My work has been bought by clients from all over Britain and Europe and my paintings hang in bars, restaurants, healthcare and business premises, private homes and even the House of Commons.
In 2005 I achieved an HND in graphic design, which has made a huge difference to my work. I increasingly use the skills that I gained to create new designs and images from my photos, which then often go on to become paintings.
In 2006 I was awarded a grant from Fresh Creative Industries to set up a studio at the Watermark creative complex in Preston. I spent several happy years working there and worked on projects with several of the other businesses based in the building.
In 2008 I was awarded a grant from Lancashire Rural Futures, which enabled me to relocate to a purpose built, environmentally friendly studio at my home in Longridge, from where I still happily work.
My paintings sell at exhibitions and galleries, but most are privately commissioned and designed specifically for the client.
I am a people person and especially love working with children, so it was a natural transition for me to start using my art to work with schools and community groups. I began doing art and craft sessions when I found myself running the local toddler group in 2001. Word spread and before I knew it, I was doing sessions at the youth club and also the odd children’s party. When I moved studio to the Watermark, I began to do workshops for several of the creative companies that were housed in the building, and have never looked back.
I now have over ten years’ experience of using my creative skills to work with groups of all ages and abilities. I believe that art can be a great healer and a very positive outlet for people with all sorts of disadvantages. As well as running programs with mainstream nurseries, primary and secondary schools, i have also designed and run projects for severely disabled groups, children with extreme behavioural problems, pupil referral units, ‘off the rails’ teenagers, adults with learning difficulties, residential homes for the elderly and hard to reach families from some of the toughest estates in the north of England.
I specialise in creative learning for schools, which involves me taking a lesson in any subject, to cover a particular curriculum topic. I design the lesson to be creative, visual and very hands on for the pupils. This makes the topic memorable and has been proven to significantly improve pupil performance and exam results in that topic.
I also run a lot of art and craft sessions at festivals, community events and children’s birthday parties.
To commission a unique and unusual piece of art, book a workshop or party, or simply to find out more about my work, please email me : firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website: www.sarahhicksart.co.uk