Alison Perks

Artist & Retired Gestalt Psychotherapist

I suppose I have been drawing most of my life. 
Deep Dark Wood (watercolour) NFS

As a child I remember it was how I would sometimes spend a day when having to stay indoors for some reason or other. I recall a drawing of a tree in which I drew each individual leaf with utmost patience and concentration. I think at these times I was totally absorbed and the world receded.

Throughout my schooldays I loved art classes more than anything. Thinking about that now I see that the experience fed my soul. Also I felt able/competent. At one particularly difficult stage at secondary school I found an escape route from the rigours of physics and chemistry by changing my curriculum to art. This meant I would never become a doctor but that was not what I had set my heart on anyway.

Autumn Colours (SOLD)
In mid teens I decided I would train as an Occupational Therapist and 2 years in advance of leaving school I secured a place at a school of OT. Again this provided a partial outlet for my artistic pursuits in addition to wanting to be a "helper". This was the path I chose for the next decade working in various hospital settings.

Then I became a mother and this was my main focus for the next decade and more, with ample opportunities to draw and paint with my 2 sons. I returned to working as an OT in the community and began the long journey of training as a psychotherapist. This was my passion for the next 20 years until I retired about 3 years ago. The main thing which enabled me to leave my active life as a therapist was the strong desire to paint. I never felt I would be able to pursue both therapy and art simultaneously. My attention would have been split.

Back of Skiddaw  ~ 16" x 12"
Interestingly I have found that painting while it has not replaced the passion and commitment I brought to therapy, has excited me and opened up new vistas and brought together my skills, interests and an old love, and given me a raison d'etre.  My choice of subject reflects my interests in both people and the natural world in a way that continues to feed my soul. I no longer draw every leaf on trees but mostly paint landscapes in watercolour.  I have particularly focused on mountain scapes and trees. These were partly influenced by living in Scotland and I still return to these subjects at times, drawing on my large collection of photographs. Now that I have relocated to the south of England I am working on depicting river and coastal scenes, people in oils, with the occasional venture into pastels. I love the aspect of the process which renders my world timeless, and at a tactile level I love the way I can move the paint around with brush or palette knife to achieve different textures and effects and watch something emerge.

Pastel on Board ~ 15" x 10"
Old Man ~ Pastel on Paper (NFS)

I often liken the process to that of therapy where there is often a stage of doubt and uncertainty of things coming together in a coherent and satisfying way. Then sometimes out of the seeming chaos something pleasing emerges from the integration of the materials, the tools the subject and myself.
Sea, Sand and Sky ~ 16" x 12"


Wild Waves ~ Oil on Board 24" x 16"  (SOLD)


The Rocks Remain ~ Oil on board 24" x 16". (SOLD)


Isle of Arran


Cornish Coast

For details of prices and availability contact Alison:

Tel: 01794 521 905

  • Work can be mounted only or mounted & framed and this will be reflected in the price.
  • N.B. some pieces are marked "SOLD" or "NFS".
To contact me about EMDR, CBT, Mindfulness or Clinical Supervision
Tel: 01234 345 993Click Here to Email
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