This has been the most difficult painting I have ever done. Not only was it technically a difficult painting, it was also because it was so deeply personal (sharing this with her permission). A beautiful friend of mine asked me to paint a picture of where her fathers ashes were scattered. It was such privilege to be asked to paint this.
This was a commissioned as a gift, of a mud brick home that has been in the family for generations, but sadly burnt down in 1927, then rebuilt around it. I loved painting this. It felt so special and personal.
This was painted (with permission) from a photo by Jacqueline Wells, of her gorgeous free spirited daughter. I was absolutely captivated by it. There are so many stories in this photo, so much personality, so much joy. I feel as though she is Alice on wonderland, or Dorothy or just Henri: she will face all the ups and downs in life with confidence, individuality and spirit. She will dance her way through life.
This painting was such a struggle for me, physically and emotionally and on reflection it is fitting that it was. This is for a paediatric therapy and learning centre: it is to convey hope. When people see this they will not see how much pain I was in when I did it. They will not see how I struggled as to how to achieve it, how to get the complexity and depth, how to covey the image that was given to me. They will not see how I struggled with self doubt and how much I wanted it to work out. Just as when you see the kids who go for these physical therapies. We do not see the struggles they face. We do not see how hard they fight, sometimes daily. How much they have to deal with, each with varying degrees of difficulties and how much harder they have to try. What you do see is the beauty that has resulted from the struggle. It was worth it. I hope for the kids who attend their therapies that they can also see hope, hope that the struggle is worth it. That great things can be accomplished with great effort, even when others are unaware of the battle.