Barbara French

I left school at age 15 after having not passed my exams. This was my parents’ wish, as they were poor, as well as the fact that my mother had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
I worked as a secretary until I became ill with the same diagnosis. Whilst unemployed I started to paint for the first time in my life. I never knew that I had such a feel for colour. Two and a half years later I had a major breakdown, schizophrenia which was chronic with both positive and negative symptoms. Now, 23 years later, my impressionistic style – which lasted 8 years on and off – has ceased and I am back to my original talent, realistic fine art.
Art didn’t do anything to me for 22 years but people and art kept me alive. I believed that one day I would paint again with talent and this has happened to me at the age of 58.