Carol Cruickshank landscape

About Me

Born and raised in Cheshire, I obtained a degree in Biochemistry at Aberystwyth University. I then moved to Essex where I taught an array of subjects – including all the sciences – and, after going back after having children, Science plus Child Development (“you have had children and there is a Biology section”) and then leading on from that teaching Food and Textiles. I always hated textiles at school, it all seemed to be endless pinning and tacking and finicky accuracy … I never dreamed I would teach it or earn my living as a textile artist when I was older. Although fascinated by design and creative innovation I had to choose between Biology and Art when I was 13 and I was to be a scientist, so any creativity oozed out in various hobbies I engaged in rather than formal training.

I developed a love for American Folk Art applique whilst attending regular monthly workshops run by Essex textile artist Sharon Blackman. I loved, under her tutorage, hand sewing small samples of the sort of naïve designs found on early quilts. Here my hand-sewing technique was practised and honed.

Then I moved to the coast in Dorset in 2007. I cannot describe very well in words the joys of living by the sea, but that delight found an expression in another new and exciting way … hand sewn large scale seascapes. Here I could now fully express the ever-changing, beautiful views I was experiencing every day.

Since starting on local sea and landscapes in 2010 I have extended my pictures to anywhere which captures my imagination. With a son in Australia and a daughter in Copenhagen both these places provided me with exciting subject matter. Add my in-laws living on Anglesey and the temptations of visits to nearby Devon and Cornwall and you see the reason for my choice of subject matter.

My exciting and unexpected art journey led me to the Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester Art group, Artwey, who encouraged me and gave me the opportunity to sell my work and develop in technique and confidence. This has led to exciting and challenging collaborations, in particular with founder member of the group Olivia Nurrish.

carol beach
Carol and Neil

From 2011 until early 2013, I was responsible for organising an Inspire Mark Olympic art project alongside Olivia on behalf of Artwey. This involved encouraging the community to make portraits on fabric of their local heroes. All the portraits are sewn together, and the Giant Wall is now up and can be seen at the New Community Safety Centre in Weymouth. This was a mammoth task involving organising lots of workshops for all ages and abilities – and we really enjoyed doing it.

In 2016, I was elected chairman of Artwey. I was, the same year, accepted as a member of the Association of British Naïve Artists (ABNA)- with whom I exhibited in 2016 and 2017.

In 2017, another challenging and exciting project for Olivia and myself has been organising Open For Art – a 2 week art trail covering Dorchester, Weymouth and Portland with 42 venues and 80 artists showing a range of visual art. It is a biannual event and 2019 looks like being bigger and more exciting, keeping me on my toes and very busy.

Also in 2017 I was a finalist in “Stitch in Time”, an international on-line competition run by Art Scene Today in USA for my submitted Bennetts Water Garden picture.