After celebrating a landmark bithday, a teacher from the region decided the time was right to embrace a new challenge.
Sue Stitt, 52, from Harraton, Washington, has launched an on-line art gallery to help up-and-coming artists sell their work and also give people the chance to buy original art at an affordable price.
Her website has a range of work by artists from all over the country including three from the North East – Northumberland painter Dave Howe, Amanda Rabey based at the Mushroom works at Ouseburn, Newcastle, who specialises in painting, and Kathryn Brame, whose work includes pencil drawings and who is studying for an MA at Newcastle University.
Stitt, a part-time teacher supporting children with literacy and numeracy difficulties at Portobello School, Birtley, was inspired to create her business when she hit 50.
Her mother, Marie Little was an art teacher and artist and her son Kenneth is in his final year at Camberwell College of Arts with her second son Greg about to start his studies at Chelsea College of Art.
Stitt herself has painted for pleasure. She saw a gap in the market for reasonably-priced original and limited-edition art and combined her personal interest in art with her new venture.
She said: “I decided it would be great to match my own passion for art with helping young artists reach a wider audience than they could on their own.
“My website also gives art-lovers the opportunity to buy work they would not normally get the chance to see and at a price they can probably afford.
“I would recommend setting yourself a new challenge to anyone, as I have learnt such a great deal about everything from social media to website development over the past few months and despite the steep learning curve have found starting up my business really satisfying.”
Now her ambition is to own an art gallery, provide art classes for children and develop an art therapy facility as well as continuing her teaching career. She wants to develop a strong list of artists for a long-term business relationship.
Stitt is also looking for further artists to be part of her e-gallery at the 2014 final degree shows at Northumbria, Sunderland and Newcastle University.