Nicola Eaton Sawford


I’m Nikki, mum to two teenagers. I live just over the border in North Wales and run my business from Oswestry. I have never even contemplated entering a piece of my ‘art’ in an exhibition, did it for a lark and was shocked to be shortlisted. So here we are.

At school I was told I couldn’t take art because I wouldn’t do anything conventional. As I got older and maybe wiser, I realised I do many things unconventionally and I don’t much care what anyone else thinks, so I began doing arty bits and pieces again after my eldest child was born.

These little creative forays have proven a valuable escape from both the boring and stressful parts of life, I find them distracting, absorbing and re-energising. Maybe we all need a bit of that? I like to try my hand at everything – painting, sewing, pottery, cookery, floristry, quilting, origami, quilling, textiles – I’m up for anything! But whatever I do, I put my own quirky spin on it – sometimes it works, sometimes it really doesn’t!

I pop into The Qube regularly to view the exhibitions (on my way to Sainsburys!), it’s a great space, and that’s how I stumbled across the Paintable workshops – sessions facilitated by an artist but with absolute freedom to just create! It was at one of these sessions that “What a Hoot!” emerged. I was experimenting with watercolour drips and splatters, mixing in salt and sugar and bleach to see what effects I could create with a rabbit image in mind. I shifted from paper to canvas and tried some watercolour inks that I’d never used before. It gets messy, very messy – luckily the lovely people I met in the class were super tolerant and Joseph, the facilitating artist, egged me on! Quite how or why I moved on to try the same techniques on an owl I don’t really know, I’ve never done an owl of any kind before, but I think he’s quite cute.

So, for all those Creative Hesitators like me out there….. if you think you can’t do it, you can! If you think you haven’t got time, book a course anyway and I find the time magically appears! If you don’t know where to go, start with The Qube, Willow Gallery, Shlurp & Forever Yours and Under One Roof and get talking to people, Oswestry and the surrounding area has loads of creative opportunities! If you think your makes won’t be any good, stop caring and just enjoy the process!

Enjoy the exhibition!


What a Hoot!
Watercolour inks with bleach on canvas


Nicola Eaton Sawford

Arts Open