Jo was educated in the U.K. but had the privilege to have lived in countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone, India, Cyprus, which has enhanced her respect and love for different cultures and religions. Jo has been happily married for 30 years with three daughters. They emigrated to Australia in 2004 and returned to the U.K. in 2013.
Having worked in the IT industry for companies such as Microsoft in sales and then training and having owned a number of businesses and sold one, Jo is now following her passion which is art.
Jo loves to see how people blossom as they gain confidence and begin to own the canvas, how they express delight as a mistake turns into a learning and is so right. Her students start off primarily in oils as it is such a forgiving medium. They also have the opportunity to explore various mediums such as watercolour, watersoluable graphite, acrylics, clay and soap stone via workshops and retreats. They learn over time that they can do no wrong. That even if they do not possess the tools or skills initially they will gain them along the way with passive persistence. They learn that even if they are not where they want to be yet they are no longer where they were and are far further than those who are not trying.
Jo thrives on seeing how mindful her students are, how they get lost in the moment which is so rewarding for them both mentally and physically. It is a chance for them to escape the noise of their everyday lives.
It is inevitable that at times a student may lose heart in a piece but with encouragement from their peers and guidance from Jo, they gain further self-belief and persevere and end up with a feeling of great satisfaction. Jo works with people of all ages and observes how the young are free to explore without self judgement, yet most adults seem afraid to make mistakes, and without the freedom to explore and make mistakes we lose originality. This is the very reason why so many join Jo to enable them to free up and find the palette of their soul.
Jo finds that by the second block of classes students are beginning to fly solo with a little bit of ground control which is so rewarding.
Jo encourages individuals to observe and respond by looking at a piece objectively rather than subjectively, in other words what does it need?
Besides her weekly classes, Jo also runs monthly workshops which enables people to explore a new technique such as palette knife or a new medium. Jo also runs retreats in the Ardeche in the South of France which is more valuable time to be creative in a magical setting of a 16thCentury hamlet.
Jo has completed a Transpersonal Art Therapy Course (equivalent to a Masters) at the Tobias School of Art and Therapy in East Grinstead. She has worked with organisations such as the Princes Trust where she set up Therapeutic Arts to assist 18-25 year old’s step out into the world. Currently Jo works with a charity in Cobham supporting young Mothers and children in crisis.
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