aka The Creative Chicken
Wendy Reed is a mixed-media artist and Level 4 certified Powertex tutor based in Northumberland. A fully qualified teacher with over 10 years classroom experience, Wendy decided to leave her full time role in education in 2009 to become a self-employed artist.
Her first studio was based in Cramlington, in south east Northumberland where she taught everything from papercraft and wreath making to mixed media. “I’ve always had ‘claggy hands’ as we say her in Northumberland” says Wendy, “It took me a long time to find the right art medium for me. I’ve tried my hand at just about every craft in my time, cake decorating, knitting, card making, cross stitch – you name it, I’ve had a go at it! However it was only about 6 years ago that I realised mixed media was my thing. When I look back the clues were there. I did O-level art (that dates me!) when I was only 14 and my final piece included collage, paints, fabrics etc so without realising it I was doing mixed-media even then.”
Wendy is influenced by everyday objects. Much of her work involves upcycled and recycled items. “My husband says I never see things for what they are but rather for what they could be. I’ll see an old shoe and think ‘Ooh that would make a lovely plant pot, or I’ll find a broken keyring and it ends up on a canvas” she says.
At Easter 2018 ‘The Creative Chicken’ was hatched when Wendy moved her studio to the beautiful setting of Kirkharle Courtyard, in the Northumberland National Park (but only 25 mins from Newcastle). The birthplace of renowned landscape architect Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, Kirkharle Courtyard is renovated farm housing 10 local artists each specialising in a different medium as well as a lovely coffee house and lake.
At The Creative Chicken, Wendy creates and sells her unique artwork and runs a wide variety of craft classes including, of course, Powertex workshops. “It’s the perfect place to come and relax whilst letting your creativity flow” she says. “Surrounded by the stunning Northumbrian countryside you can really get away from everyday life and ‘play’. Our workshops are always informal and fun, you are never quite sure what you are going to end up doing. One day in the summer a flock of sheep escaped from the field so my whole class ended up chasing them around the farm, aprons an all!”.