Each painting has it’s unique story, influenced by my life experiences and activities that I love and enjoy, such as – feeling embodied through my movement practice; my love of being in nature; experiencing the potency of archetypal & symbolic images; humorous, quirky imagery that make me smile as they arise from imagination, demanding to be birthed in colour and form; and also images that arise from the depth of my being, imagery that moves me emotionally.
Viewers of my work enjoy hearing about the story or process involved in the paintings – if you too are interested please read on and enjoy the brief account of each art work.
Going Over the Edge
This painting is part of a tryptic with the following two paintings. ‘Going over the Edge’ makes me smile, it embodies wry humour! For me it symbolises surrender – the feeling we have when our back’s against the wall and don’t know which way to turn. What do we do when we feel like we’re ‘Going over the Edge?’ Collapse, fight or jump? Or Surrender into some unknown space, a place of not knowing. A sort of reckless yet hopeful feeling that everything will be OK.
Swimming with Fish
‘Swimming with Fish’ connects and relates to ‘Going over the Edge’ and ‘Flying with Birds’. As a story I imagine this person Going over the Edge, and landing in the deep blue/green of the ocean. A place of emotions perhaps or the unconscious self. As she goes with the flow of the water she becomes aware that she is ‘Swimming with Fish’. Two strong presences accompany her as she journeys onwards.
Flying with Birds
Coming up for air and ‘Flying with Birds’ is the final painting in this tryptic. Perhaps it represents rebirth, courage or a feeling of freedom. She is now flying high, effortlessly, far above land, with sense of overview, with a bird ally present for guidance and protection.
Underneath ‘Ecstatic Dancer’ is a story arising through a process of trusting my intuition as I painted. I started with the surprising image of two boats being rocked and tossed in a storm. The boats became landlocked on an island then transformed into an archetypal woman bringing fire from the sea. The final incarnation was ‘Ecstatic Dancer’ – freely expressing herself through movement – dancing for herself and no-one else.
?X!* off Miss Frisby this Dress is Amazing
When I was five years old I drew a girl very similar to this one with a vertical line down the front of her dress and a different pattern on each side. I loved this dress and thought myself hugely inventive. Miss Frisby, my teacher, stood behind me, dug her knuckles into my back saying, “this dress is stupid!!” Well Miss Frisby you were wrong. Look at fashion today!! This painting celebrates my five year old’s painting and puts two fingers up to anyone who says we can’t paint and squashes our vital, intuitive creativity.
This painting began as an angel with white wings, but I felt her to be too angelic. I wanted a more grounded, womanly angel, so transformed her into ‘Earth Angel’ – an earthy, loving, peaceful and joyful angel filled with love and wisdom. When I hung the painting on my wall she gave me a great feeling of peace every time I looked at her. I love her!
My Body as Land
The Sussex Downs are round, soft and sensual. As I walk I feel enveloped by mother nature’s curves and valleys. This painting is inspired by the landscape, seeing both woman and hills as one and the same thing.
Images of bird re-occur in my paintings. Sense of lightness, freedom, overview, power and all seeing. The symbol of bird can be different for all of us.
As I started to paint I had a feel for the Rocky Mountains in Colorado where I once lived. Magnificent mountains with large birds flying against the skyline. I love the heart nestled deep in the mountain. What is the relationship between the bird and the heart?
Heart in a Pond
‘Heart in a Pond’ is one of two paintings commissioned by a couple to be hung each side of ‘The Wedding’ (see below). I represented their love for each other through images drawn from nature, and to frame, beautifully, the image of the wedded couple.
Many friends and family were getting married, and this painting happened quite spontaneously one gorgeous, sunny morning in August. The sun shone through my window as man and woman emerged at their wedding. ‘The Wedding’ is the centre piece to ‘Heart in a Pond’ and ‘Tranquility’, both of which were commissioned by the couple who bought this painting.
‘Tranquility’ is one of the commissioned paintings to accomany ‘The Wedding’. As with ‘Heart in a Pond’ the symbol of the tree represents strength, protection, growth and beauty. The pond symbolises depth of feelings, heart, flow and love.
Brave Little Girl
My first experience of sailing was both terrifying and exhilarating and inspired this particular painting.
Here she is, setting off into the black night, all alone, in the middle of the ocean, not knowing where she is going? Perhaps the light above her head is some presence to guide her. She is very brave indeed!
Circle of Trees
I love spending quiet time in nature and experiencing the strength and beauty of trees. Each tree so different in quality, shape, and feeling. I like the strong, earth bound trunk contrasting with the windswept branches and leaves above. Also the deep richness of the colours gives a glowing, earthy feel – all held in the warmth and containment of the circle.
The Knowing Bride
This cheeky bride has numerous layers painted underneath her before she emerged as the ‘Knowing Bride’. Perhaps the layers are her previous lives! Her eyes, possibly looking at her new beau could be saying a number of things. What might she be thinking?
The Pink Dress
The Pink Dress is one of my few paintings on canvas.
Here she is, relaxed, resting, soft and sensual in the sunlight – sinking ever deeper into her body, her beingness, her self.
Little White Riding Hood
I painted a representation of a forest, playing with vertical and horizontal lines. The girl emerged giving a sense of proportion and story.
I painted the girl coming towards the viewer but she, quite naturally, turned away and walked into the woods immersing me into the archetypal story of Little Red Riding Hood, moving ever deeper into the woods and away from safety. She is painted white, symbol of innocence – hence ‘Little White Riding Hood’
On Top of Pico Mountain
Painted on the little volcanic island of Pico, in the Azores, I was inspired by the sheer force and grandeur of nature. Pico Mountain, with the wild Atlantic Ocean crashing against the rocks.
Such a feeling of freedom on top of the mountain with the wind, birds and incredible views of nearby Islands.
Mother & Child
I was inspired by the geometry and form in the archetypal Icons of Mary & Jesus I saw on Pico Island, and also wanted to bring some vibrant colour, dynamic quality and sense of love to these rather flat, loveless images.
Images of mothers with their babies is an uplifting and glorious sight and I wanted to depict the deep love and bonding mother and baby can have for one another.
The archetypal young woman, transitioning from girlhood to becoming a woman. She is still innocent, possibly excited and fearful too. Not an easy time, hence the intensity in her face and gaze.
Life in the Earth
Spring – the time of year when seeds underground begin to grow and burst forth. This painting symbolises potential creativity, hibernating in a dark, quiet, safe place, ready for the allotted time to come forth out into the world and be visible in it’s gloriousness.
The strong, rooted, wide spread tree represents the fruits of this potential creativity.
Bare Bottom Woman on Bare Back Horse
Inspired by the funeral of a dear friend of mine. Nature was wild, with the wind howling and there, at the centre of this storm a blackbird song.
I wanted wild weather in this painting and a sense of madness, courage, unprobablilty, speed, movement, flight, and a daring heart as she rides swiftly on her onward journey.
Crow in her Glory
The Archetypal image of the crow can be a powerful symbol for us as the shapeshifter, being in two places at the same time or being able to take on another form. The loud cawing of crow sounds errie, even menacing.
Crow can represent our shadow side, the part of us that we may not want to see, and in that I celebrate crow, for without acknowledging our shadow side how can we be truly whole.
Crow has appeared often in my paintings. I see this bird as a powerful shapeshifter and in this painting she has many coloured layers beneath her black feathers, hints of unearthly qualities she can tap into, hints of shadowlands.
An elegant swan appeared in this painting, with a need for a celebratory, wilder dynamic in his countanance as he gracefully glides through water – accompanied by a cheeky friend.
A moment’s inner stillness as she whispers her prayer. Perhaps her animal guide in the form of the white bird is telling her everything is going to be allright, or that she is not alone.