I have always loved water from being a small child and watching my father build boats. Every holiday involved being on a boat or near water, and so now our own holidays never feel complete without a trip out on a boat or a wade in the sea, however cold it may be ! So it seemed a lovely thing to turn my focus as an artist to water and really spend some time studying it. I have been gathering reference for a year or so and have planned trips to the very North of Scotland and the outer Hebrides, to the calmer coasts nearby and the rich colours of the seas in Cornwall and Devon. It’s going to be windy , it’s going to be wet and it’s certainly going to be interesting !
My interest in water is two fold actually ,if I am honest, as it is also born of wanting to face up to some of my fears. I’m not a great swimmer, although I would love to be, and look with envy at people who surf and can simply dive through waves, as I nearly drowned as a child in a neighbour’s swimming pool. I’d taken off my arm bands and everyone else had gone inside and what I didn’t realise was that the pool instead of having a gradual floor, went off a cliff into the deep end. To this day I can remember struggling and then just feeling more and more tired and then just thinking actually, I think I’ll just go to sleep. My sister told me recently that she can remember seeing me blue at the bottom of the pool. Fortunately the child whose family owned the pool dived in and saved me. I was only young and so it’s left a bit of a mark on me, which I would really like to shake off. So I thought I would face my fear in some small way, as I love the sea, and thought it better to embrace it . You never know I may even finally go and have some lessons to learn how to swim under water, as that whole cutting the air off at the back of your nose thing, that my kids and husband try to explain to me, is as fundamentally innate to them as it is alien to me. So in many ways this will be a voyage of discovery. I’ll let you know how I get on !