After the death of both my parents I found I couldn't make art in the same way as I had before. My art always talked about my life and the people and places that are dear to me. Sometimes I had a puzzle to solve or a message I wanted to convey but I was always interested in what made us individuals. My style was unapologetic and direct, I was not in the business of shying away.
Now I feel more cautious, bumped and bruised by the last couple.of years. I cannot be so literal and direct, my process often too raw for how I feel. I still want to discuss things that matter but in a way that is one step removed.
Recently I have fallen back on using symbols to say what I wanted to say. Sunflowers for optimism and new beginnings, birds flying for freedom, sunlight and blue skies for better things to come. Recently I painted our cherry tree in our garden. I was asked to paint what Reading meant to me but after shielding and Covid I didn't think I could answer that question. My home had grown in importance, this sounds obvious but after the busy and active life before Covid this was a big change. Lockdown made me fall in love with my home all over again. My home and my family nurtured me through really difficult times and the garden I found particularly healing.
Trees for me represent strength, they bend and sway despite all the storms and bad weather. This being our first house the cherry tree was there when we moved in it felt that we were putting down roots and starting our future.
This painting showed me a new direction, a new way of painting after not knowing who I was creatively or how to move forward. I am grateful for this painting and all it has shown me.