Charlene Scott of Pink & Green Creative lives in Scotland with her husband and 3 children. She paints, doodles, crochets, crafts and designs from her home studio. Charlene loves to work intuitively in a range of different mediums and has a keen interest in emotional wellbeing and the value of self-love and creativity. She has also studied and practiced as a holistic therapist and currently hosts monthly creativity workshops for small groups of women.
Carrie: Welcome Charlene, when did you first realize your love of the arts?
Thanks for inviting me Carrie! Growing up I really noticed creativity; it really made me pay attention. Watching others create things is like watching a magician and I love the energy around people when they are creating. I would be and still am super impressed by the simplest forms of creativity, not just masterpieces: my mum and gran’s cooking, my dad’s painted beach stones, my granny knitted us all jumpers, my papa’s greenhouse he built and tomatoes he grew, my great uncles origami swans and boats! My grandad who would turn his hand to woodworking and then sit down at a sewing machine to make clothes.
It wasn’t unusual for me to come home from school and my mum had completely rearranged the house and sometimes redecorated. They all made things and I grew up wanting to make things. From an early age I used the arts as a way to show my love and make gifts, particularly for my mum. Drawing and painting came later through school. The art department was on the top floor with windows along one side of the wall. You could look out and see the tops of the trees from the park opposite. It was my favourite place to be, the smell, the light, I loved it. I didn’t enjoy high school but the art department made it do-able. It felt safe in there.
Carrie: Describe your habits or rituals around “making.”
When painting or using mixed media I always start by lighting a candle, having a little stretch out, I’ll put some music on and start by either painting some canvas edges of finished work or playing with a beginning layer of a fresh canvas or collage. This settles me into the process, helps move some things along, and then I’ll turn my attention to works in progress. When crocheting I’ll play a podcast, audiobook or movie although I usually like to just sit in silence to begin with and use the time as a form of mediation.
Carrie: I love the flower series you are working on that I spotted on Instagram. Tell us about them?
I adore flowers even though I haven’t got the gardening bug that was so evident in my mum and gran (there’s still time, it may come). I’ve dabbled with flowers a few times but resisted from completely diving in. There seemed to be a shyness around painting them and I also felt intimidated by all the wonderful paintings on that subject. It wasn’t until I noticed that it had actually become quite uncomfortable resisting the urge to paint flowers that I decided that I needed to completely let go and run with it.
At the same time an online class that I had taken earlier in the year with artist Mati McDonough was running again and as I was still part of the group I kept seeing these wonderful abstracted flowers pop up in my newsfeed. I took that as a sign to get going. It’s like that saying ‘what you resist, persists.’ It has all been a very intuitive process and creating them is bringing me so much joy (and relief). And of course it has been another lesson in following my heart.
The timing of this particular series is linked to the changes that are going on at home too. My eldest daughter moved out 2 months ago and my other daughter is in the process of starting university in another city and is moving out too so I have my suspicions that what is really happening here is me looking at ways to infuse the space with their colour and joy. They are both very expressive young women and it is going to be a lot quieter around here. Bold flowers seem to help me with that transition. And of course as the girls grow and blossom I’ll also enter a new chapter of growth as I am less depended upon, so the symbolism of flowers is not lost on me either. I’m also shifting from a predominantly female household to male.
Carrie: Your creativity is expressed across several media. How do you decide what to work on and when?
Through doing and listening I’ve discovered that different times of the day suit different ways of working for me. This is great as it takes away any decision making because I love it all! I’d become pretty overwhelmed otherwise. My day always works best if I’m active in the mornings so I might attend to some things that need done around the house, trips to the post office, catch up on emails, etc.
At first I tried to structure my days so that I would work on artwork first thing in the morning and late evening. I had probably read somewhere that these were the ‘best’ times. I learnt to listen in and go with what feels natural and discovered that painting flows so much more freely in the afternoons. Not only does my artwork benefit from this but I do too: it really energises me and I no longer have the dreaded afternoon slump. Evening is usually when I’ll crochet, carve stamps, play with new craft projects. It’s about synching it with my own natural rhythm.
Carrie: If you were ever cornered into choosing ONLY one medium to work with (the horror! hehe), what would it be?
Oh no! You can’t ask me that! Ok, I’m thinking….. still thinking….. I have pondered this before you know… but usually my head gets in the way (not quite as fun) and I think ‘arghhh why don’t you stick to one thing and get really really good at it’ and then I remember that I am sticking to one thing, that one thing just happens to be ‘creativity’ itself. So can that be my medium? Ok I guess that’s cheating, if really REALLY cornered I would choose acrylics because I am having so much joy with paint right now.
Carrie: What inspired your crochet creatures? They are so cute!
Simply, it was my son. I was mostly crocheting flower garlands and mandalas but I decided to try my hand at amigurumi and make him some soft toys as he was little at the time. I designed the cuddle monster for him and he loved it straight away. He also has a few others that he drew on paper and I crocheted for him. They still get tucked into his bed each night.
I became quite attached to the cuddle monster too and he started appearing in doodle form in my journal as my own personal cheerleader. The practice of a daily doodle was really healing for me at the time so I began to share them on Facebook as a way to hold myself accountable. I was so surprised when people took him to their hearts and began asking for prints. Most recently he’s found himself in the pages of a book all about happiness thanks to Claire Massingham from The Happiness Bank.
Carrie: What does your workspace look like?
I’ve recently moved into a room at the front of the house. I had previously taken over the garden room at the back of the house and although I miss the amazing light and watching the washing dry on the line (it’s the simple things) the new space is working well. At long last I can have everything in the one place and I have noticed that I’m more productive and less distracted (can’t watch the clothes drying anymore).
It’s not huge but it is big enough and as our youngest is only 9 years old it keeps me close by. All the messy stuff happens in there but the crochet nearly always happens whilst I’m perched on the sofa back in the garden room. Moving into this space has also enabled me to hold monthly creativity sessions for small groups of women. It’s a squeeze but we manage just fine.
Carrie: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your “beginner” artist self?
Haha I have to laugh at this question because I still view myself as very much a beginner. I’m not sure that will ever change, especially when I like to dabble in so many different things. So the advice that I have on speed dial to myself is believe, trust, it’s only art. Oh and don’t stop, EVER! Your life depends on it.
Carrie: What is one creative resource you can’t live without?
Life and being outside – as cliché as it may sound. It is ALWAYS giving and never runs out and is so personal! It informs so much, whether consciously or otherwise. What is current in my own life can inform my next project. What feelings are being felt in response to challenges AND joys can infuse my art whether I mean it to or not.
(I also really like Instagram.)
Carrie: Who/what inspires you?
Here comes another cliché but it’s so true My husband and kids inspire me so much and in many ways. When kids are younger they make art with so much authenticity, they make it because they can and they’ll make it from absolutely anything. Kids are a great source of ideas (I’ve ‘borrowed’ a few in my time). Their art is so full of truth. Now that the girls are older they inspire me in different ways. As I watch them carve out their creative lives I’m inspired to show up and work harder at mine. When I listened to them telling me of criticism they’ve faced around their creativity I was inspired to face my own fears around my art so we could have better conversations around it.
Other people that inspire me are those that ooze authenticity, when judgements (self or otherwise) are dropped. They are the permission givers. Good honest chat. There are so, so many that inspire me and I am grateful to them all, but if really pressed, a few that stand out for me at the moment, particularly around creativity, are my good friend Linsey Denham, writers Hollie Holden, Elizabeth Gilbert, Brene Brown, artists Alena Hennessey, Mati McDonough and you Carrie.
Oh and music, it inspires me to get on with it!
Carrie: Thank you for your kind words <3 How do you define Creativity?
Click to Tweet: “The advice that I have on speed dial to myself is believe, trust, it’s only art.”
Be Creatively Courageous: What are the best times for you to create? Have you felt obligations to create at certain times like Charlene shares? Let’s talk about it below.
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What an authentic and heart warming interview. It spoke to my heart and kept me engaged right to the end. It was so wonderful to get to know Charlene even more than I do now. Each and every day I am starting to fully embrace my creativity and interviews like this just inspire me more.
Thanks for reading Claire, I thought so too 🙂
Friendship with Charlene happened instantly. She IS what you see in her art. Beautiful, Vibrant and Authentic.
Brilliant article…and I may even sign up for the Art Challenge…yikes. Lxx
Linsey thank you for sharing. That is exactly what I got from our interview with Charlene and I hope others feel the same thing we do 🙂