Most popular blog posts: 

Tam’s Favourite SuppliesQuestions I get Asked the Most ◆

Working Through Creative Block ◆ About Tam’s Hands


1. Where are you from?

I was born in Holland, Velsen (3rd May 1976). I left Holland in 1994/1995 to take a year out of studying after Senior School. For about 6 months, I ended up as an au pair in London. I loved London so much that I decided to continue my studies there, I studied music and psychology for a while, but due to a massive Rheumatism flare up I had to stop studying. I continued to live in London for 10 years (mostly in Brixton & Streatham). When I was offered a great job in a British International School in Colombia Sri Lanka I moved there for 2.5 years with my now husband Andy Mason who did conflict resolution work there. In early 2007 we moved back to the UK where we still live currently.

2. Where are you based currently? 

Devon in the South of England.

3. What is your art background?

Though I’ve had formal art tuition of some sorts, I am mostly self taught. I’ve been creative since I was little. I have a vivid memory of drawing a cat with its paw up in Junior school and feeling very accomplished and ever so proud of it! Throughout my childhood music and art were an important part of my life; I took music, art and art history as a subject in Senior school (Berger Scholen Gemeenschap – Bergen, Holland) and studied the subjects as part of my final year exams. After graduating from Senior school (VWO in Dutch) I applied for 2 art schools and was accepted for both, one in Enschede and one in Amsterdam, I went to the one in Amsterdam (Hogeschool voor de Beeldende Kunsten Amsterdam). Sadly I didn’t enjoy my time there and left after a year.

Since then I’ve been mostly self taught. The materials I used most in the past were acrylics/ pastels/ watercolours on paper, canvas or canvas board (in art school we used oils but I didn’t enjoy working with oils). Since 2004/ 2005 my art become much more mixed media. I started art journaling in 2005-06 after I found an art journaling community on livejournal where I used to blog.

I taught drama, music and art to 2.5 – 11 year olds in an International Junior School in Sri Lanka for 2.5 years (Elizabeth Moir School). My main role there was to be the “extra curricular coordinator”, I organised sporting events, the schools art exhibition, directed (and at some point wrote!) the main school play and taught drama/ music and art to all age levels). It was a thrilling and rewarding experience.

4. What are you favourite art supplies?

Check out this blog post to read all about my favourite art supplies.

5. When did you start your creative business/ how do you run it?

I started running my creative business full time in late 2008 when very few people were running online courses. If you click here you can read about some of the workings of my business and what equipment I use etc.

6. Do you do run workshops in person?

I do sometimes but I predominantly teach online as I have 2 young children. To see if I am involved in a ‘live workshop’ any time soon check this page.

7. What is up with your hands? They look odd sometimes when I watch your videos.

I have an illness called rheumatoid arthritis. It is an autoimmune disease in which my immune system attacks my own joints. It means my joints can get inflamed. My hands have suffered some deformities which is what you may notice in the videos. I often wear my little finger-less gloves to ‘hide’ the deformities. While I have mostly accepted that my hands look different, I still sometimes wish they looked “normal”. However, I love my hands for what they are still able to do and I am extremely thankful for the mobility they still have. : ) I wrote a blog post about my hands HERE.

8. How can I contact you?

tam@willowing.org or willowing.arts@gmail.com

9. What underpins your teaching style?

In addition to being an artist, I am also a student & practitioner of Nonviolent Communication™. NVC is a style of communication that focuses on the quality of connection between people and inspires compassion in and for the self and others. Within the NVC model – judgement (both positive and negative) isn’t considered a helpful way of letting people know how they are progressing with their work (if you are interested in this theory read: “Punished by Rewards” by Alfie Kohn).
Therefore, when I teach, I aim to avoid using terminology such as “right” and “wrong”, “good” and “bad”.  Instead I try to focus on the quality of the art experience. Feedback is given by looking at what makes us happiest in our art, not what might be considered ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ art. The emphasis is on the emotional rather than the intellectual experience of the creation process. While the two often overlap, I find that focusing on the emotional experience, opens people up more and often helps them progress with their art more than through receiving criticism conducted within the ‘right’/ ‘wrong’ paradigm.  For more information on NVC: www.cnvc.org

My life style and healing approach is very much influenced by the teachings of Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie, contemplating the nature of being and practicing presence, awareness and acceptance. For more information on these teachers: www.thework.comwww.eckhartolle.com

I am also a qualified hypnotherapist and nlp practitioner and use some ideas/ healing methods of hypnotherapy and nlp in my art courses that have a personal development element.

 

1. Is all class content downloadable?

Yes, we offer downloadable content for all classes, please note that for collaborative live courses (like Life Book and Ever After) there is usually a deadline by which you need to have downloaded all content. While on most self study courses you have life time access, on Life Book and Ever After you do not get life time access. You need to download your content by a specific date (which is shared with you when you purchase the class).

2. Do I get life time access to my purchases?

You do on self study courses but not on live collaborative courses like Life Book and Ever After, you can however download all content from the latter classes.

3. How do I access my purchased classes?

Please log in to the site (top left hand corner), then click on ‘my account’ to find all your classes.

4. How do I download the class content?

Each class thread has information at the bottom of the page, please check your classes for this information.

5. How soon do I have access to the class I purchased? 

Instantly! Once you’ve purchased the course you get immediate access to the content, simply log in above and click on ‘my stuff’ – you will then see your purchase (and free) course listed! yay!

6. Which classes are suitable for beginners? 

Pretty much all of my courses take you through the creation of the paintings step by step and go into great depth. So all classes are suitable for beginners though those who have no drawing experience may initially need to repeat the earlier steps frequently to become used to drawing. The only course that isn’t suitable for beginners (though could still be joined by a beginner as I think the content is mighty useful) is Ever After – as this has a segment that focuses mostly ‘style development’ which is more relevant to more established artists.


If you’re stuck, or can’t find your way, don’t hesitate to contact us on

willowing.arts@gmail.com