Having made one contemporary painting called Freedom, it did not mean that I could create another one. In fact for a few days I could not think of anything to do. Whilst waiting for inspiration I really needed to paint something so I went back to copying, using family photos to paint small portraits. Better to do this than stare at the studio walls.
Being a self taught artist and don’t know any of the rules of painting. To paint the portraits, I chose to use watercolours in their very thick form and mix them with small pots of emulsion paint. I am sure someone, somewhere, will say that it is not a good idea. Well, I can tell you it is. It works like a dream.
Whilst working in the studio, I would listen to Radio 4 and it became my friend and companion. My favourite programme has always been Women’s Hour and it was whilst listening to it, I got my inspiration. I soon found myself scribbling down notes that related to topics and stories on the show.
The more time I spent in the studio, the more stories I heard and soon I had a collection of sketches, scribbles and shapes. They did not really resemble anything in particular, they were reminders of the stories I had heard and soon they started to make sense to me. I was experimenting, thinking out of the box and creating something that made me feel something, and it felt right.
My eureka moment came when I could see how to finally piece together a narrative painting from a storyline. The discussion discussed how women do too much, Trying to juggle, motherhood, career and running a home and how the pressure would always take its toll. We try to do it all and sometimes we try too hard. In the end something always has to give.
Creating this small simple contemporary painting SOMETHING HAS GOT TO GIVE, was a breakthrough for me. I am not sure how it worked, but I had found a way to unconsciously unlock an emotional and artistic response to what I had heard and create a contemporary painting. What is more important, if asked, I could explain to the viewer it wasn’t weird images on a canvas, it was a narrative painting and I could tell them the story behind it.