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The talented human behind The House with the Blue Door

The following is a kind of interview-by-email with Sarah Palmer, one of our East Marsh United gang, project developer for community arts and a fantastically talented artist. This is a chance for the wider world to get to know more about Sarah and especially about her beautiful work – which you can (and should!) buy from her (see links below).

Grimsby Minster
  1. You’re an artist, Sarah. What kind of art do you make? 

I work in watercolour and ink. I trained as a graphic designer, and I’ve also worked as a photographer and journalist. I’m also a life-long calligrapher. These are all things that now influence my work and style. I work in sketchbooks, and paint and create every single day. I see it as a discipline, just like if I was an athlete training for an event! 

  1. You make art under the name of The House with the Blue Door – what is the significance of this? 

The House with the Blue Door is the name of a chalet I have on the Humberston Fitties. I’ve had it for around six years, when my son was then three. He gave the chalet its name, and it stuck! So when I came to set my art business up in September 2020 it made sense to name it after the chalet, as so much of my work is based around that area of the coast. 

Eight Foot
  1. What does art mean to you? 

It feeds my soul. If I don’t get to paint each day, I don’t feel right. It’s a drive within me, and it also hugely helps my mental health, as it’s the ultimate way to be mindful when you just observe something you are drawing and pay such minute attention to it.  Pablo Picasso puts it better than I can:

‘Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.’ 

Pablo picasso
  1. What is your latest project and what ideas do you have floating around, what would you like to do if there were no barriers? 

I’ve always got a million and one ideas for projects floating around in my head. I have a constant list of them! I’ve been asked to create some artwork for the round window in Cleethorpes Library, and I’m working towards creating some materials to protect and promote the heritage of the Humberston Fitties. I’d also like to highlight the architectural heritage of the area around Freeman Street. I also want to create a book around H.C. Scaping as his buildings are to be found all over Grimsby. I have a particular love for buildings! If I didn’t have to work, I’d love to travel around the UK by train, and simply spend all day sketching what I saw on my travels! 

Alexandra Dock towards Town
  1. what motivates you to paint? 

It’s a compulsion. I see something, sometimes just a flash of sunlight on the side of a building against a bruising sky and I just want to recreate it in wash and ink. I feel that I put the love of where I live into my drawings and that’s why people like them. I also draw things that a lot of people might walk past – I’m drawn to interesting bits of buildings and Victorian architectural details. 

  1. how does it make you feel? 

Calm. It takes me out of myself. 

Old Market Place
  1. How important is art and creativity to humans, to communities? 

Incredibly important. But sadly, we have a government and current zeitgeist that puts arts down the agenda. From man’s earliest days, we have had the desire to make, and I don’t believe that’s changed. What I hope my artwork does is remind communities of their heritage. 

  1. How can people buy your work? 

I am in Arttopia, an artists’ collective in Grant Street in Cleethorpes, and I’ve got an Etsy shop.  

  1. What is your website address and social media channels 
Sarah Portrait