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Forncett St Mary artist Gill Starkie raises £4,500 for EACH

A Forncett St Mary artist has successfully completed 365 days of painting to raise money for children’s hospices.

UNIQUE: Artist Gill Starkie combined drawings, words and poetry in her paintings.
UNIQUE: Artist Gill Starkie combined drawings, words and poetry in her paintings.

Gill Starkie drew paintings of festive occasions, memories and loss in exchange for a donation to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, for which she ended up raising £4,500.

The mother-of-two said: “I’m really pleased, it’s far more than I thought I was going to be able to raise. I am just astounded by the generosity of people. It’s been an amazing year, meeting incredible people and spending time talking to them.”

The challenge was equally rewarding and sad for Gill.

“I did pictures for people who, when they first asked me, they had children alive, but, by the time I gave them the picture, the children had died. That’s heartbreaking. These things that are captured in the pictures were memories that needed to be held on to,” said Gill, 59.

Among her highlights were weddings, birthdays and other celebrations, which she found a joy to draw.

“You can have photographs and things, but to have a little painting that somebody has done for you and captured something special is quite unique,” said Gill, who is a trained psychotherapist.

Over the year, she has drawn more than 365 painting for people from all over the world – and as far as Japan, Australia and America.

“Now that the challenge is over, I actually miss it,” she said. “It made me realise that we all need to be a little bit more mindful and concentrate on the moment.

“I’ve learned to be grateful for small things and marking every occasion, good or bad.

“Our lives are made up of little happenings and they can disappear so quickly.”

When asked if she would do it again, she said she would, but not as an every-day-challenge.

“It’s a lot of pressure and I so wanted it to succeed,” she said. “But I might do something similar in the future.”

Gill is offering a water colouring course at Forncett St Mary Village Hall on March 2 from 10.30am to 4pm.

Places are limited. To sign up, email gillstarkie@btinternet.com.

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