The South Downs, the inspiration to paint a picture and then write a novel.

A journalist recently interviewed me about my paintings and debut novel ‘The Painting in Room 48’, and wanted to know  where my inspiration came from to create contemporary paintings.

I explained that I liked to listen to stories, conversations and occasionally interviews on Woman’s Hour. Rather than draw sketches, I prefer to make notes about what I have heard and interests me, and very soon  an idea will begin to form.

Share my Dream is the name of the painting featured on  the front cover of my book ‘The Painting in Room 48’.

I walked on the South Downs near Chichester, with my granddaughter and as we wandered through a copse she told me that every time we turned a corner she felt as if she was walking in a dream, and asked if I would like to share her dream with her.

I was curious and  bent down to her level and looked around and then realised, what she could see bore no resemblance to what I had been looking at. Her view was almost surreal. The fallen logs and leaves looked enormous, broken branches resembled huge stick insects and flowers peeping through the leaf mould looked like little jewels.

The very next day I started work on Share my Dream, a surreal view of the South downs, and finished it in plaster, sand and paint so that the work could be touched..

It now hangs in the Three Counties Crematorium. Near Honiton, Devon.

The story became a painting and the painting became a book.