Surrey Artist - Meet Jo Sharpe
Jo is a Surrey artist who runs art classes and workshops for children and adults in Surrey. She is married to Richard and they have two teenage boys. Between walking her dog Tilly, running her classes and painting, life is very busy. Recently, she took a rare break to talk briefly to Sutton Council about herself and her work.
For those that don’t know you, tell us a bit about yourself…
I am a local artist living in Carshalton, Surrey. I enjoy selling my oil paintings, prints and botanicals at local art fairs. In addition to this, I have an online art shop where you can buy my artworks.
A few years ago, I trained teacher and have worked in art departments (secondary schools) for 8 years in the Sutton borough.
In 2018, I decided I wanted to work with my wider community so have become an independent art teacher. I channel my creative ideas into a variety of art clubs and workshops.
Tell us about your art classes
My art classes for children and adults are called Budding Artists. Another recent addition is CATS Club which is a STEM Club for children. In this club children can create art and crafts that are heavily focussed on science and technology.
For adults, I also run Art in the Park workshops which are take place monthly at my studio in Oaks park. These art classes are suitable for adults of all abilities who have an interest in improving their art techniques.
Why did you start Drawing In Your Lunchtime?
Drawing In Your Lunchtime developed after noticing how my students go almost into a ‘trance-like‘ state when they draw and often say how much they enjoyed it. I wanted people in my community to have the opportunity to get into drawing, even if it became just a lunchtime activity.
I believe that anyone can draw (read more on this) and so, I wanted to reach out into the community to offer my classes and workshops to those who wanted to give it a go. These art workshops are a great opportunity for like-minded people to meet up regularly and as a result, a lot of friendships have been forged through the medium of art.
Why should people come to this event?
As you use your right side of your brain for drawing, art is great for mindfulness and creativity, problem solving and resilience. This lunchtime drawing class can be slotted into a working week. You will be learning a new skill, be developing the right side of your brain and making friends! Drawing is good for you!
What has been your best moment from a Drawing in Your Lunchtime event?
Every week is enjoyable as I can see how focused everyone is and how surprised and impressed they are with their drawing at the end of the lesson. Even those who thought they could not draw – I have shown them with only a lesson or two that they can.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?
Drawing on Nature, because nature provides me with most of my inspiration for my paintings and lessons.