Lin Cheung is the embodiment of practise what you preach. As an artist she is not afraid to liberate her creative spirit and she attributes this to her other work as a psychotherapist.
Her experience at understanding what’s going on in the mind has enabled her to quieten her own inner critic and stop it holding her back from freely expressing herself.
“I found that I was much less afraid to make mistakes which has been massively important to the way my work has developed since I started painting seriously,” explained Lin.
Although the Buxton-based artist now works part-time as a therapist to pursue her art, she still enjoys sharing her knowledge through workshops, such as Coaching for Creativity.
“For that particular course I work with groups or individuals who might be lacking inspiration or stuck in the wrong place. They may be holding back because of memories of past criticism and that will be influencing what they produce.
“So many of us ask time and time again ‘Is this good enough? Can I show this?’ We all need a bit of geeing along sometimes and I love being able to bring my teaching and psychological work into my art, by offering coaching classes.”
Lin, who has recently been accepted as a member of the Peak District Artisans, loved painting at school but left that creativity quietly within herself until eight years ago when, after several years working in sales and marketing and then as a therapist, she realised she wanted to express herself in other ways.
“I found I needed something else to engage and interest me so whilst I was on holiday I attended a painting workshop on the Isles of Scilly. That course rekindled my love for art – it was as if it had been waiting inside me until I was ready,” she said.
“I then began painting loads and loads – trying out lots of different materials and techniques. I moved from painting in oils, to using acrylics and then to mixed media. Over time I began loosening up as an artist and then I became increasingly interested in abstract painting, which is where I have found my home.
Lin’s multi-layered mixed-media work is inspired by the shapes and forms in nature and the way we have interacted with it through history.
“I like the idea of what has gone before; the sense of history left behind. I am interested in the interface before people and the marks we have left,” she explained.
Lin works intuitively with a blank piece of board, starting out slowly until something starts to emerge and take shape.
“When I begin a new painting it is like setting out on a journey not knowing in which direction you are going. I explore and find my way, responding to what happens rather than planning an end goal.
“Because of my work as a therapist it is easier for me to recognise what is going on inside my mind and if a painting is going nowhere I am not afraid to let it just peter out and start on something else.”
However, when it comes building an arts business Lin’s thinking is quite different. Her marketing experience means she knows the importance of having a plan and staying focused on it.
“I am very excited at how the last year has gone and especially delighted to have joined the Peak District Artisans,” she said with a huge smile.
“I want to stay focused on my painting and spend the next year getting it seen by more people in galleries and at key events such as Derbyshire Open Arts and the Great Dome Art Fair. I am hoping that as more people find out about me I will be able to build on the coaching side of my work.”
Lin is exhibiting at Isla Fine Art and Cards in Buxton throughout March. Find out more about her work at http://www.linc-art.com