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Sunday
Dec072014

q&a with Catherine Drea, artist, blogger and facilitator from Foxglove lane

It gives me great pleasure to welcome one of the first friends I made through Twitter, the talented, incredible and lovely Catherine Drea from Foxglove Lane.  Her words and photographs are soothing, touching and beautiful.   They are solace for our souls.  Catherine has recently published a beautiful book Seek light, Embrace Shade and Live Colour, her book can be previewed and bought as an ideal Christmas present. You can follow Cathering on Twitter, Facebook and ​Instagram. 

Who are you, what’s it like being you …

I’m Catherine Drea, artist, blogger and facilitator. My blog, Foxglove Lane has just won the Irish Blog Award for Photography for the second year in a row and I have recently self published my first little book. I co-founded an ethical organisation called Framework 20 years ago, and this is still my day job. I’m quite a shy person I think, but with a performance streak!

Where are you from, where are you based ...

I live down a long green lane in the SE of Ireland. It’s a small patch of County Waterford between the sea and the mountains. While I am Irish to my core I also feel like a global citizen connected to people and communities around the world.

 

Talk about your work …


In Framework, we build ethical leadership and practice and have always challenged the traditional views about women, poverty and power. My other work involves being on my own personal creative path and following everywhere it is leading me. I photograph the ordinary and the everyday and try to share the natural beauty that I find there through my art and my blog

How do you find inspiration, who you are inspired by ...

Living here in a small rural wilderness, sometimes the more limited the environment the more there is to see. I have always been inspired by other women and the way we build relationships and trust through encouragement and friendship. I’ve been meaning to make a list on my blog of all the inspiration that I find but honestly there are so many.....poets, artists, photographers.....love them all.....


Describe your space …

I used to work in any old corner of a bedroom or kitchen table! Now I have a small studio space right in the heart of the home from where I have the best light and view!! In one corner the day job, in the other the creative work!

What are your future plans ...

Life has unpredictable twists and turns..... I choose a word at the beginning of each year and that guides me in a loose way. As I turned 60 this year I’ve become less fixated on planning! However for next year already I feel a longing to go deeper into my creativity which excites me!

 

How are you feeling today …


There are always ups and downs. I scare myself by taking (for me) big risks,
my latest one being a self published book. It sometimes leaves me all wobbly unveiling these projects and being the centre of attention. As an introvert I tend to prefer the peace and quiet that goes with working alone. So these days I’m feeling a little exposed which I’m not too keen on!!

A non-negotiable in your life is ... 

My loved ones come first.

 

Most encouraging words you have ever heard ... 

Don’t give up.


Your work life philosophy is …


Seek light, embrace shade, live colour. In other words life is short and for living to the full while we can. Embracing shade is still a big challenge!

What is your favourite smell ... 

The sea.

Who do you like to listen to, what’s playing just now …


The old hippy that I am I still love Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, jazz and Irish traditional music with a twist....the Gloaming come to mind....

Best meal and your favourite three ingredients …


Great fish and chips on the beach at sunset, BBQ lamb dripping with garlic and rosemary, a warmish pint of Guinness or glass of red.....

 

Three things or products that have changed your life... 

Most recently my Canon EOS 7D camera, the iphone, the internet.

How do you relax …

Getting lost in a photo walk is my favourite thing. Usually has to be done alone. Spending time with friends and family, travelling, sea swimming and family gatherings with my three sisters and all their kids.....I love a change of scene.

What makes you happy, where’s your happy place ...

My days are very happy when I’m doing what I love, writing, making photographs of my favourite places and times of day, blogging and learning new things. Not being digitally native I have to learn most technical things for the first time every second day! I now know the oddest things that a woman of my age would never normally have had to grapple! And although I love travelling I’m a home bird too as they say....

What is your favourite journey, where in the world would you like to visit ...

Last year I chose the word Pilgrimage as my word for the year. I travelled to Italy, Greece, Sweden, Austria and the Wild Atlantic Way. My favourite track was from Athens to the Southern Peleponese a blue, wild, magical wilderness. I love the feeling of being away from it all. In my 20s myself and himself had a VW van which we travelled all over in, we are about to embark on that again as I trade in my sensible car for a tiny VW camper for 2! Next stop Connemara.

What do you most value in your friends …


My best friends are just great old buddies who take me as I am, don’t have huge expectations of me and put up with a lot of silence at my end as I am often so absorbed in work!

What are your favourite words, what are you reading, just now


For years I have had the Artist’s Way, Women who run with the wolves, Mary Oliver and other poetry beside my bed. I dip into them all the time. I’m the strangest combination of agnosticism and spirituality!


Share some words of wisdom ...

Creativity is always an act of courage, so don’t let the fear stop you. Keep going even when there are other priorities there to distract you from your passions. Let your own work be a thread of light running through your life. AND you are never ever too old to begin!

 

Catherine it was a joy to interview you at Salt and Sparkle, thank you for joining us.

 

That's it for now ...

Nics

Salt & Sparkle = Life Remarkable

 

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Reader Comments (5)

Thanks a million Nicky, really chuffed!

December 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

This is a marvelous interview. I loved reading every bit of it. Your questions were some of the best I've ever heard for a creative person, an introvert, and lover of beauty and adventure. You brought all that out in Catherine and I'm so grateful that you did. As an admirer--and one of the first to purchase Catherine's new book--I love reading more about the person who I've just come to know a tad through her blog and mine. This is the best of female friendship and support--Lovely! With love and light, Susie

December 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersusie@life-change-compost

Love this interview! I have the pleasure and privilege of knowing Catherine as a dear friend since we met in primary school at age 8. Even then she was just as she is today, funny, warm and wise with huge creative talent. The questions you asked were so thoughtful, insightful and interesting, allowing her true self to shine through. I love how the blogging practise leads us to special people like you and Catherine, whose words and images enlighten our lives.

December 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda Malley

A very lovely interview. I love this Irish hippie, traveling, writing, art making gal so much!

December 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Delighted to interview Catherine, and welcome you ladies to my website.

December 23, 2014 | Registered Commenterby Nics

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