© Geraldine Buckley

I am a self-taught artist, born in London UK in 1948, currently living in Adelaide, South Australia.

I started drawing as a small child, as soon as I could hold a pencil. Life as a child was fraught with stress, a combination of poor family relations and a very sick mother, meaning I had to grow up quickly and look after the home. Art, and other crafts, along with escapes whenever possible to local parks to be with animals, that I understood far better than humans, was my way of coping. I loved animals with a passion so they were my subjects.

I always wanted to pursue a career in art, but growing up in the 50-60's, plus the family complications, made making that a reality very difficult.

Science and medicine were my other passions, so I trained as a medical researcher, and throughout my working life I worked in NHS hospitals, and once, for six years, in the pharmaceutical industry. I spent my spare time with photography. I also continued, on and off, with some art, mostly graphite and watercolours. The closest I got to oils was “painting by numbers” as a child!

My husband and I moved to Australia in 1986, for him to have a change as an NHS doctor, for “about three years”, but I went into renal failure which rather changed the plan. I was lucky to finally receive a kidney transplant in 1995.

I decided this was my “wake-up” call and it was time to do the things I had always really wanted to do, so I started painting with acrylics, which I did, on and off, for over for over 30 years, mostly birds at that time as I wanted to write a book about wildfowl. Somehow never felt entirely at home with the medium. Oils never attracted me. I entered a few local shows but felt I wasn’t getting anywhere. So I tried several different crafts. I had always been an enthusiastic knitter, so started a knitwear business, but using knitting machines, for several years, followed by an online cross-stitch designing business for several years after that. I continued with the photography and submitted images, and still do, to a British photographic agency, but none of it really gave me creative satisfaction.

I was diagnosed with an aggressive diffuse B-cell lymphoma in 2014 which stopped me in my tracks. Luckily, I survived, and I found myself thinking more and more about art. I felt it was now or never, as time seemed a critical factor, but I wanted to try a different medium, so I browsed the Internet for inspiration.

In Feb 2016 I came across Ann Kullberg's web site. Coloured pencils? I was blown away by her sheer talent and was amazed at the realistic quality of her work. I couldn’t believe that coloured pencils could produce such amazingly detailed works of art! I searched more, and came across so many other really talented artists using coloured pencils and had to try them.

Ann Kullberg was so helpful to me and very supportive when I asked for advice. She kindly featured some of my initial work in her Color magazine in August 2016. So encouraged, I read and researched all I could on coloured pencils and discovered a whole new world I never knew existed. So many incredibly talented artists too! At that time though there was nothing like the resources available today and it was very much a case of learning by trial and error.

I eventually improved to the extent that I could take on commissions, and because of my deep love for animals, pet portraits dominated. There are such a variety of surfaces to work on and a huge selection of pencils brands. I have tried many Artist quality pencils, and realised how very different they all are, the same with papers too. Coloured pencil art has really given me all the creative satisfaction I wanted, and the best thing is that there is so much to learn still.

Ann Kullberg remains an inspiration to me, and I am sure she has been to many CP artists. I am not a confident person and I probably wouldn’t have continued without her support.

I have been published in several volumes of Ann’s “Hidden Treasures” yearly books, the yearly collection book of “Color” magazine for 2022, and her “20th Annual Members Show” book in 2022.

In 2022 it was an honour to be invited to contribute to her “Draw Dogs” tutorial guide.

I was published in Carrie L Lewis’s magazine “CP Magic” gallery year books for 2023 and 2024.

Society Achievements
UKCPSO Signature status 2022