Hi, I'm Gaynor and Sleepy Oaks Studio is the place where my magic happens
Gaynor was born in Belper, Derbyshire. Shortly after, her family emigrated to Australia and she spent the first part of her youth there before returning back to Derbyshire, England. The beautiful flora and fauna of Australia had a big impact on her and she remembers drawing some of them for her young classmates during the first year of being back. Such was her love of animals that she didn't want to come back to this place she didn't know and her dad promised her a farm with lots of horses if she did - so of course, she said yes!
That never happened though and it wasn't until she left school that she at last found herself to be the owner of her first pony.
As the years nudged by, she bought more ponies and eventually gave them up to settle down and start a family, before returning back to work. It was a another nudge that bought her back to her artwork, after she began to get ill and couldn't cope with her workload and home any longer. Taking less hours she began to paint and finally, in 1996 she sold her first painting, which was the start.
The following years saw her health becoming worse, diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and Allergies - but she never accepted it despite the problems that arose.
So, with her love of wildlife and animals still intact and already quite a keen animal keeper of many domestic species, farm and pet types, Gaynor decided to gain several qualifications in Animal and Equine care and also gained experience at a zoo, mostly working with primates, and at a farm park and a kennels. She also decided to have horses again - but it wasn't the same anymore and once again her health worsened.
After 6 years she decided to stop keeping horses due to her worsening health and gave her last horse away so she could try to get better asap. Despite that she then got quite ill until she sought private help and had allergy testing regarding animals. Her thoughts proved right and she was highly allergic to several including horses and cats.
Lessening the household felt like a cruel blow. All the qualifications now meant nothing and the love she had for the animals now had to be at a distance.
But the love was still there - it still is - and she places that into her love of painting.
Mostly self taught (but with a few workshops along the way), aside from taking art at school, she enjoys the whole process of creating her work, and works in acrylics, oils and watercolours.
Gaynor's preferred subjects are wildlife and fantasy.
Gaynor's path began a very long time ago, like others as a youngster she'd play for hours drawing everything she loved. As she got older, her love for nature and wildlife also grew and her strong interests in them pushed her to learn as much as possible about the different species and their habitats and the land we live upon.
Gaynor never sticks to just one medium as she really loves to challenge herself, using different techniques and subject matter. She chooses the medium which she feels will be best suited to the artwork she is to do.
Creativity should flow and have no limits!
Gaynor's work aims to connect the viewer to the same feelings of wonder that she feels when within the land, sea and sky. Her work is always born from a happy place: the places, beings and subjects that she loves and deeply appreciates.
Sometimes she will also create other things such as small sculptures - check out her dragons - and some crafts such as pyrography and needlework. She also enjoys writing stories and poetry and is steadily working on a few books.