A Flash of Inspiration | A Virtual Blog Hop - The Creative Me


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A Virtual Blog Hop - The Creative Me

May 26, 2014  •  8 Comments

A short while ago my friend Viv @ Within the Frame  invited me to participate in a Virtual Blog Tour. The idea is for participants to give an insight into their creative life by answering a few questions and then along the way linking to other blogs. So here goes...

What am I working on?

I find that my work changes with the seasons. I know it's all connected to light. Here in the north of England it can be drizzly and overcast during the winter months. I think at times we've all used the excuse "the light's not right" but I've learned to adapt to this. When the light's low my work tends to be darker and grungier, and in turn this feeds my love of texture, abstract and monochrome. For me, this all connects perfectly with my passion for exploring and documenting industrial heritage and vintage links to the past. I intend delving deeper in to recording nearby places of historical significance. 

As summer approaches I see the quality of light changing and I'm drawn more to open spaces.. My garden is well-stocked with a wide variety of plants. As the flowers and insects start to appear I enjoy taking close-ups - the structure and details intrigue me. 

Anemone 2Anemone 2

I have a room set aside for storing all my gear and plenty of space for experimenting with still-life photography and painting.  I will be concentrating on capturing my vintage finds over the coming months and scanning and working on more of my antique illustrations for my website download store - I'm cleaning up a fabulous nautical chart of New York Harbour at the moment. I enjoy trawling vintage emporiums.


I intend delving deeper into wider  landscape photography - both countryside and industrial over the next year or so - this, I feel, has been an area under-represtented by females here in the UK but happily this seems to be changing. 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well I certainly don't consider myself to be unique in any way! I know some people don't understand my love of seeking beauty in the imperfect. And I see visitors looking despairingly at a vase of 'past their best' flowers!!  I'm at my happiest photographing a dusty old building restoration project - such as Victoria Baths in Manchester - or fading flower petals and seed pods.

Victoria Baths Restoration Manchester

Yes, I appreciate the desire to photograph a perfect blemish-free bloom but equally I appreciate the unique textures and tones of decay. 

Poppy Head 3Poppy Head 3


Why do I create what I do?

I stumbled back in to photography a few years ago purely by chance. Since a child I'd always been involved in film. I used to experiment with in my dad's darkroom.

My old Brownie!

I'd been learning web design with the Open University and finding it unfulfilling. On a whim I enrolled on a digital photography course a couple of days before the deadline, treated myself to a new digital camera and can safely say it was the best decision I've made in many years. It re-ignited a passion of mine and so here I am today with a website, blog and and importantly a more enriched life. I have a constant thirst for knowledge and so I'm always experimenting with different aspects of photography. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes I feel 'not good enough' - but this fuels my creative journey. I'm a believer in just getting on with it and putting my work out there. If this encourages others to do the same, then I'm happy with that! 

How does your creating process work?

I intentionally set aside time for myself each week to create - usually one quiet weekday and a not-so-quiet Sunday. As a wife and mother of 3 sons I found it difficult initially to make time for myself without feeling guilty of neglecting my loved ones or the house work... I now know I can find the time. For me, slumping in front of the TV was a major drain on my time  - but these days I'm very selective in what I watch. 

I discipline myself to get outside with my camera at the very least once a week. Sometimes I feel the pull to get in to the city, other times I seek tranquility in the countryside. I'm fortunate where I live - both aspects are easily accessible. I also have a supportive husband - we work out together where we'd like to visit.  We usually fit in a treat at a quaint teashop, country pub or vibrant city bar.  I enjoy sitting and watching the world pass by.

Urban CafeUrban CafeTo sit and watch the world go by is one of my favourite Sunday morning treats.

I like to slow down… really slow down… and seek out the detail of the locations I visit - capture the essence of the place in different ways. I'm usually drawn to patterns and reflections - I think simplicity is probably an underlying theme. For me, it's all about appreciating our surroundings and in particular what's on our doorstep. Often I get strange looks as I excitedly admire a rusty Victorian  structure! I seek out heritage textures to create compositions. My collection will be online soon.

Vintage RustVintage RustA great grungy texture blended with plenty of rust.

I document my finds on my Weekend Walk feature on my blog and encourage others to do so too. The photos come first and then the writing. I enjoy the writing process. If I'm lacking in inspiration I dip into Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones. I follow daily writing practice as a form of meditation - this is becoming increasingly important to me.

Two Lovers EntwinedTwo Lovers Entwinednspired by one of my favourite bands The Smiths.


My friend Kelly McKenzie is 'revealing all' ... Kelly's posts make me giggle - we seem to share the same mishaps and similar parenting 'skills'!! And her mum's a treasure!  But then, occasionally, she'll throw in a poignant thought from her past which makes stop in my tracks. So hop over and visit Kelly's Blog  Just Typikel.


If this your first visit to my blog then I'd love you to follow my journey by subscribing. 









Cathy H.(non-registered)
I feel a great connection to you and your love of discovery, vintage, and texture work! I love your photos and I love seeing where you go. I really should get back to a weekly outing and join you again!
Helen that 5th,6th, and 8th photos are to die for. I love nautical maps and such! Cn't wait to see what you do!
Wonderful post. Your work is really stunning. Love the macro shots. Glad to be part of the Groupies with you. I will be back soon. I am taking part of the blog hop as well!
A wonderful post Helen thanks for taking part, it is so interesting to learn about your thought processes and you are so right to capture industrial heritage it is so important in our social and economic history. One day I hope we can meet up and check out those wonderful swimming baths ....
Kelly L Mckenzie(non-registered)
Oh Helen it was such a delight to learn more about you. I had no idea you had stumbled back into photography so recently. I thought you had years and years behind you. I think your photos are so wonderful. I too am a just get on with it type although I don't set aside definite times to write. Tend to go more by the seat of my pants. Thank you for the inspiration to make it a bit more regimented process other than my usual "oh no one's up yet I think I'll write..." Thanks for passing the baton on to me - next week I'll try to do you proud. Though I must say you set that bar pretty high ...
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