After an extremely busy and exciting November I was very much looking forward to a December exploring new possibilities within the studio and to see where I wanted to take my next body of work. You might remember that I went to Wales at the start of November for a research trip – to push my own creative boundaries and to photograph an area I haven’t painted before.
Once I was back in the studio I found I was tying up a lot of loose ends from my previous series , and with Art Fair East in early December I found it hard to get excited about any new ideas. It was important for me to close the door on my previous series before I started the next one.
When I finally got back properly into the studio around mid December I still wasn’t quite sure where I was heading creatively.
Around this time we then encountered the loss of a very close family friend, who was taken from this world far too soon, at just 22. Painting naturally became the last thing on my mind, whilst constant questioning occupied my head and anger took over.
After 3 weeks of avoiding the studio, on January 1st it felt like the right time to get back to painting. I was worried that what had been happening over December would affect me in a way I wouldn’t like creativity.
However, once in the studio my initial idea of painting the stunning Welsh scenery suddenly became very important to me, and a way of vocalising everything that was in my head at the time. Grief, loss, confusion and anger. I found painting to be a huge comfort. January flew by, with every available hour spent painting and exploring not only the mountains I was painting, but also the emotions I was feeling. It became a therapy.
I am still in the midst of creating this new series. 4 large canvas paintings down and I cannot see myself wanting this body of work to end anytime soon. I always have a real excitement and passion for my paintings, but this time around it’s different. I have an overwhelming energy and drive to push myself with this series. I have explored grief in my own creativity and am still understanding my feelings. Time is a healer and gradually I can see myself leaving this phase, and when I do I imagine this body of work will organically come to an end.
But for now, this one is for you Jess.