Getting to Know the Path

My journey to the art I now make started with walks along the portion of the Wales Coastal Path near where I live. When I was unwell I used to walk there with my mother who is very knowledgeable about plants, being a scientist by degree. She would help me identify the many little flowering plants we found there and the birds that came and went. I loved the shapes and colours and soon started photographing them as reference for sketches and paintings I then made at home.

Some of my photos and sketches

I am often inspired by striking colour combinations in nature like the pink campion against the sky and the pinks and yellows dotted through verdant greens of the meadow. Sometimes my paintings are more of a celebration of the range of colours you can find if you look closer.

Through sketching and painting the birds and flowers I see I grow more familiar with them and this relaxed but concentrated effort improves my mental health no end.

After Art Journaling for a few years I found myself with the process I have now, seen in Wonderful Wildflowers. I think the art journaling, walking, sketching and painting all feed each other so I might try out a new technique in an art journal page and then later make a painting using that technique or if it didn’t work but I liked the page I might re-sketch up the page and make a new painting from it. I believe art is as much a journey as a walk in that each step you discover new things. And then researching about those things really helps with the familiarity. So I might find out about the cultural significance of a plant when making a painting of it and then make an art journal page about the culture. Unsurprisingly our nature, here in Britain, has had a great impact on our folk lore much of which is being rediscovered nowadays in the form of healing properties of wildflowers.

More on my painting process next month.

Free Spring A4 pdf download featuring buttercups, campion and forget-me-nots

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