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FOCUS: Brushing stress aside

FOCUS: Brushing stress aside

Friday 05 May 2023

FOCUS: Brushing stress aside

Friday 05 May 2023

An islander who left a career in finance in her late 50s to embrace her passion for art has shared how painting mandalas on pebbles and seashells helps her feel relaxed and bring her joy.

After spending the “majority of her life” working in finance, Jo Logue fully embraced her creative side and opened a pop-up shop in the Fish Market three years ago.

The shop boasts a large selection of painted pebbles and seashells that Jo has become well known for in the last few years, after rediscovering her passion for painting.


Pictured: Jo's Painted Pebbles shop is based in the Fish Market.

“I have always been creative, and enjoyed painting, but I had never had the opportunity to concentrate on it full time until the last few years,” she explained.

“I became hooked on mandala dotting when I first saw the amazing dot designs of Elspeth Maclean, a famous Australian artist, five years ago.

“I studied YouTube videos and bought the dotting tools and have now mastered the art and developed my own style!”

Pebble painting

Like her passion for painting, Jo’s connection to pebbles isn’t new!

She first started painting pebbles in her early teens when she mostly painted “ladybirds, flowers and fish” for her relatives and friends, creating “unique and personal gifts” door stops and paperweights.


Pictured: “I love bright colours and finding colour combinations that match,” Jo said.

Nowadays, Jo actually makes the majority of her round pebbles – as well as her pebble shaped candle holders – in moulds with stone powder.

However, she does have a licence to take pebbles off the beach and gets most of her natural ones from St. Ouen's bay.

“I do use natural pebbles for some of my work and enjoy designing a pattern to match their natural shapes,” she said. “I do also paint natural scallop shells.”


Pictured: Jo said the pebbles make “unique and personal gifts”.

Jo added: “I love bright colours and finding colour combinations that match. 

"I try to post a different colour set photo on social media every Friday; it’s my own personal challenge I’ve set myself!"

After falling back in love with painting, Jo started selling her artwork in the Central Market over weekends.

Therapeutic benefits 

Following her early retirement from finance, she says she feels “blessed to have the opportunity to be creative every day".

“My shop is my ‘Happy Place’ and it brings me such joy,” Jo explained. “I love what I do and paint most days.”

She has especially enjoyed the therapeutic benefits that being creative can bring.


Pictured: Jo says painting is "relaxing and meditative".

Between the mandala, a design sometimes used to aid meditation, and bright colours, which can help lift the mood, Jo’s practice seems like the perfect recipe for mindfulness and relaxation.

“When I’m painting, especially mandala dotting, it takes me away and is so relaxing and meditative,” she said.  

"You don't need to be a great artist to create great art!"

Jo explained she has become even more aware of the benefits of creativity since running workshops with local charities such as Eyecan or the Brain Tumour Association and she recommends it to anyone, regardless of their age or abilities.

“I see the benefits that concentrating and achieving a wonderful result can bring to even those who think they are not artistic!” she said. “I also do parties, and parents of younger children remark on how calm their children are whilst painting."

Jo added: “Prior to working with charities, I had not realised the benefit of ‘Art Therapy’. The first workshop I did for the Brain Tumour Charity was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.

“Everyone ended up joining in, to the surprise of the organisers! The buddies (as the students are called) couldn’t believe what was achievable, you don’t need to be a great artist to create great art! 

“The atmosphere was incredible, and the organisers said you could feel the energy and concentration in the room. I am extremely grateful for the experience.

“I really enjoy teaching my skills and mandala dotting is an art form for any age. The youngest I have taught was six and the oldest 93. I would certainly recommend it to everyone!” 

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