Coastal artist Joanne lives and breathes summer seaside holidays in her paintings which are inspired by the North East coastline. See her designs for the Great North Snowdogs public art trail around the North East now – they’ll be there until November and will be auctioned off to raise money for St Oswalds Hospice.


My husband for having so much faith in my work he gave up his own career for us to work together on our creative business. I also have to mention my twin sons. They were born three months prematurely and have blossomed after a difficult start to life. Their endless energy keeps me going!


For a weekend > Camping near the Northumberland coast, there is nothing better than the fresh sea air and wonderful scenery we have on our doorstep. Alnmouth is special to me as it is where I spent my summer holidays visiting my grandparents.

A long holiday > I much prefer sailing than flying. So hopping on board the ferry from North Shields and sailing to Europe is a great way to travel. Taking the car gives you freedom to explore new places. Holland has vibrant cities and a beautiful coastline; I especially love the Wadden Sea Islands.

A treat > We have just returned home from a wonderful holiday in Pembrokeshire, Wales. I love treating my kids to adventurous activities that challenge them and get the adrenaline pumping. We all tried body boarding, climbing and zip wiring, followed by lots of Welsh ice cream!


Best food > I love to eat and cook quality organic food, I enjoy home cooking and like trying new recipes in the kitchen.

Best wine > Red, with a family roast dinner.

Favourite restaurant > It’s a tie between a casual seafood wrap from Riley’s Fish shack in Tynemouth’s King Edwards Bay and the Staith House on North Shields Fish Quay. Both a stone’s throw from home and serve fantastic fresh local produce.

Perfect weekend > Weekends are for family time. A Saturday morning lie in followed by homemade pancakes. Then we would head out for the day to somewhere like Beamish Museum. An evening Pizza and a family film to finish off
the day. Sundays have to involve a good roast dinner in a country pub, followed by an afternoon walk on the beach
of course!

Downtime means > A bit of time for me, time that I invest in my own health and well being. I’ve always loved to be active and have been practicing Vinyasa Flow Yoga for the last few years. It’s a great workout followed by relaxation.

Best telly > I love the Apprentice, Dragons Den, Amazing Spaces and the Great British Sewing Bee. Programmes that encourage creativity and entrepreneurial skills always interest me.

Best book > Currently I am rediscovering children’s fiction with my sons. I love to read to them and feed their imagination. One day I would love to illustrate a children’s picture book, it’s been a lifelong ambition.

Best sounds > The sound of the waves splashing at the beach.


Best shopping city > York is a lovely city; I prefer to seek out small independent shops, rather than using the big chain stores. I especially love shops with creative and imaginative interiors.

Favourite shop > RE -found objects is a pretty special shop and I also love a haberdashery! Fabric shopping is my weakness. I have lost hours of my life browsing through fabric swatches.

Luxe retail treat > A real treat for me is buying handmade accessories or interior products designed by creative people that I meet at art fairs and exhibitions. I like to buy one of a kind pieces and it’s nice to meet the person who makes them.

Best buy > I recently bought an upcycled vintage school desk for my twin boys. I noticed it at the St Oswalds Charity Shop warehouse when I met the team co-ordinating the Great North Snowdog project that I have been
working on.


A memorable night out > When I was a student I saw Graham Norton do a comedy gig live. He picked on me in the audience, laughing that I was studying for a degree in Textiles! What does he know?

Perfect party > Friends, family, music, dancing and more dancing. Did I say I liked dancing?

Best dress > I am more at home in a pair of Jeans, but if an occasion requires a dress I will always go for something colourful.

Dinner date > My husband of course. We always like to have a walk along the beach together first to build up an appetite. It is nice to have time together to chat about our future plans and dreams together.   


My life on the whole is my real luxury. Some days I have to pinch myself and think is this really my job! I feel privileged to be able to spend my time creatively. It certainly isn’t a 9-5 existence, I work hard but I balance my work around my young family and have a life and career I enjoy.