The word for the week for me is ‘intentional’ and this painting is just that. I deliberately chose to paint this hill for it’s challenging composition and also I might add for walking across, as many of us do. This hill leads to greater heights but some effort is required to get there and the path is not always clear.
During the course of this work I became unstuck. My sister died. And I closed down somewhat. We all did. And on returning to the work I found it almost impossible to paint – for my heart was sad. I was tempted to stop, lay down my brushes and wait. I was concerned you see that my sadness would permeate the work. But I persevered.
I was reminded of an artist friend who once told me that He didn’t like my light and joyful paintings – the ones I had done with a happy heart. No. But those I had painted during the course of a whole year when my son lay in a darkened room overcome by depression – those he liked. The honesty he said, and the strong emphasis of light they held spoke to him of hope. And hope is what I have.
My sister is now with her heavenly Father and she left this world with peace in her heart and while I miss her, I too have that peace. So with renewed joy I applied shocking pink and vibrant yellow. And my heart began to sing.
You might or might not be aware that I find painting difficult. People say that it’s great to be a gifted artist and I perceive that they think I just do it; just like that. But it’s hard. I have to work my way through them and each painting poses new challenges. This one especially so because I was grieving. I wanted it to evoke a response and I wanted it to sing. For me it was mainly about rejoicing in all the richness of colour and about being up there in the rawness of the weather and being on the edge – just where the land falls into the sea. But I also wanted to challenge the viewer to come up higher – why stay in the valley when there is a mountain top? I’m not saying that the sadness of loosing my sister has left but I am now allowing the joy of the Lord to permeate my spirit and I am encouraged to come up higher; higher into Him and what He has in store for me, both to live and to speak about within my work.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever! Psalm 30: 11-12