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Seeds of Inspiration - Becoming an Artist

A photograph of a dandelion seed head stem blowing in the wind and releasing its seeds
Dandelion Seed Head

Nature for the soul

My husband and I were out in The Yorkshire Dales National Park just the other day. Regularly getting out into the great outdoors has become high priority for us. We love exploring the beauty of the land that we live in, discovering some of the hidden gems within the landscape, experiencing the wonder of the changes that come with the seasons. On this particular occasion in Wharfedale, we stood and watched a deer grazing by the River Wharfe. Seemingly undeterred by our presence, we got to enjoy a beautiful glimpse into her world.

The tiny things

My love for the outdoors is also what inspired some of my recent fascination with drawing botanicals and with seeds in particular. Incredibly, seeds contain everything needed to become what they were meant to be. They just need the right conditions to germinate and grow, just like the seeds in our own lives.

A dormant seed

Art was one of my favourite subjects at school and art lessons became a wonderful opportunity to explore and discover some of the creativity inside of me. I would lose track of time as I became captivated with how to express on paper or canvas what I was seeing with my eyes. As I’ve reflected back on that time of my life, I remember feeling deeply inspired in my final art exams before leaving school, like I was tapping into something inside of me that I was actually born to do.

But at that point I decided to pursue a career in nursing and then in palliative care. And for a number of reasons, I stopped drawing and painting at that stage. Upon reflection, those were the years when it feels like that seed lay dormant inside of me.

The seed grows

Back in 2010, after a rewarding nursing career and then some wonderful years living in California, I felt the nudge to explore my artistic side again. So, alongside my job working as a specialist palliative care nurse in North Yorkshire, I began taking the time to develop my skill in graphite pencil drawing. I soon realised that the seed that had been dormant for all those years was still there inside of me. It was just waiting for the right conditions to germinate and grow. Step by step, I worked on developing my technique and skill, experimenting with my drawing tools to develop my own unique style. In 2014, I accepted my first drawing commission and I’ve had a steady flow of commissions since then.

A few years ago, I started working on a series of botanical and wildlife drawings, wanting to express more of the wonder of the natural world with my pencils. Eventually, I turned those drawings into fine art prints and greeting cards and I began selling my work both online and at various outlets in the UK.

It’s been such a joy to give that seed of creativity inside of me the time and space it needed to grow and produce fruit. In nature, seeds will germinate and begin to grow with the right environmental conditions. And so in my own life, those seeds of creativity began to germinate and grow when the season was right and I was able to set time aside to explore and experiment with my pencils. It’s a delight to be able to now dedicate a large amount of my time to drawing, to growing my art business and developing my creative expression.

The seeds in our lives

Maybe there are seeds in your life that have been dormant for many years, things that you've previously enjoyed or experienced a sense of 'life' whilst doing, things that you noticed you had a natural affinity for in a prior season that may now be ready to germinate and grow. It’s never too late to explore something new or to pick up an old skill again!

Kelly Barnes Portraits - Capturing the Essence

If you need a little inspiration to explore those seeds in your life, I have a range of Seed and Seed Carrier Botanical Drawings available to purchase online, both as greeting cards to give as inspiration to someone you know and as mounted prints for the home. I am committed to sustainability and part of the proceeds from all sales are donated to a charity working with ethnic groups facing oppression in Burma (Myanmar).

With gratitude,



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