Brenda Squires - Author Therapist and Artist

About Brenda Squires

I was born in London, grew up in Surrey, but am and remain a Londoner. For me London is the world city par excellence. Despite its knifings, pollution and the sense of anonymity widespread here, it is a vibrant place, the head and heart centre of the United Kingdom. I always love coming back to it. I love its galleries, its river, its squares, its markets and its alive cosmopolitan feel. Now West Wales is my adoptive home. I love it there too. I love the wild open beaches, the rugged coastline and the thriving local culture with its bards, musicians and singers. People have time for you there. In London that is becoming rare. Wales has nurtured my creativity in a way that London has not. But London stimulates me and exposes me to wider streams of thought, artistic expression and music. So I switch between the two, at home in both, but never fully rooted in either.

I studied modern languages at university: German and French. I lived and worked in Germany, teaching English and some translation work. I retrained as a community worker then as a psychotherapist and supervisor in Psychosynthesis, which is how I earned my bread. Writing has always been a background hum, loud at times, almost disappearing at others. I was only able to concentrate on writing when I stopped working as a therapist. Words and language have been my métier as a teacher, trainer, therapist and writer. I love stories. Stories are how we build communities, pass on our values and entertain ourselves. I imagine our forebears sitting in the glow of a smouldering log, swapping gossip and tales in the long, dark winters before electricity. We heal and help ourselves through stories. Through them we pass ourselves on to our children and grandchildren as surely as we pass on our DNA.

For me painting is the latest new kid on the block! I took up painting less than a decade ago. I feel I am still in my infancy with it. Some people comment that my work is varied, expressive and naïve. I take all that with a pinch of salt. It is what it is. What I will say is that painting has changed my life. It has opened up the world to me in a totally different way. It has compelled me to see the colours, patterns and wondrous beauty that are out there. I have given up trying to reproduce what I see. It is far too intricate and exquisite. Rather I strive to record and splash out the impact a horizon, a cloud formation, a pensive gaze have on me. I find it all enthralling.

Besides that I am wife, mother, grandmother and sister. I hope I am also a friend. These roles have always been essential to me. It is how I define myself when I am not alone in my studio painting or in my Welsh cwtch spinning tales.