The layers are slowly and intuitively built up. A thoughtful podcast or reflective playlist gently eases the process along. Thoughts and words may find their way onto the initial background layers, which are gradually covered with layers of acrylic ink or paint. Occasionally a fern or beautifully sculpted leaf is pressed into the wet paint to add a textured imprint – you may even find remnants of these natural treasures left behind as evidence of the joyful process and a physical reminder that the artwork is literally grounded in nature. A more representative image starts to emerge and light up the piece. The luminosity of the organic layering adds a richness and vibrancy that can only emerge once the full process has evolved.
Resilience, Community and Spirit paintings all transpired following lockdown, 2021. Not surprisingly, the themes of isolation, a need for fellowship and looking forward to better times became strong threads within this evocative woodland series. The fragility of life represented in the form of a tenacious and often overlooked tiny bird, the Dunnock became Resilience. Family, friends and a strong supportive network all became essential for us all during this time. Unsurprisingly, Long-tailed Tits, who maintain a strong bond and stay close together, featured in Community. Standing high and proud, the Mistle Thrush of Spirit is also known as the ‘Rain Bird’ singing its flutey song loudly after spring rains. During the difficult times of the pandemic, these woodland birds have become rich symbols and metaphors within my art.