"Peace and Love"
At the foot of our cottage garden is a woodland area. Here, right at the very end of our garden, is where plants are moved to if they are on the way out or looking poorly. It is the "last chance" area. When we first moved into our cottage we planted white roses by the front door. We had thought we had bought shrub roses but the plants had been accidentally mislabelled. Over time, as they grew, the roses sprawled over the ground rather than give us the gorgeous display we were yearning for. Then they started looking sickly and the right decision was made to dig them up. But I couldn't bear to part with them. They were roses after all and no rose should ever be thrown away.
The poor things were planted behind an old tree which is the home of our resident woodpecker bird. The tree itself looks bedraggled with hundreds of holes driven in it from the rather noisy woodpecker and its young over the years. Consistent checks by me on this plant proved we were right to move it. It was dying. But I still left it there. I felt sorry for it. But as time went the plant became forgotten completely and untended. It was there, but out of view.
This week while gardening I walked deliberately to look and see what was happening to the poorly plants and each one has not only survived but is flowering beautifully. I couldn't resist painting their beauty. And I sat listening to birdsong as I created the above painting.
I started by forming my background. Readers of my book "Paint Yourself Calm" will know just how this effect was achieved. I let all troubles disappear, as in the the "boulders on my shoulders" chapter. Sadness drifted away as I worked. It isn't that I have worries. It is the heartbreaking news that has upset me. This week youngsters lost their lives needlessly at a concert via the hands of one young man who could never have understood the joy in their lives to have acted so cruelly. I have cried unashamedly for the parents, families and friends who faced the worse news ever this week. Their lives will never be the same. And as always I found peace in painting. Especially using my "Paint Yourself Calm" techniques which led me to this rose painting outcome.
Softly and gently, I caressed the bloom to life on paper.
Softly and gently, like tears falling for a loved one who will never be at your side again.
There is a lovely saying "I am not gone. I am simply waiting in another room". I like to think of loss this way. In fact at a Mums' funeral some time ago, one of her twins gave a reading. She spoke fondly of her Mum and described a school trip where she had gone in a canoe for the first time. Unknown to her, her Mum had quietly followed the school coach and watched her daughter without her even knowing. The daughter explained she didn't know her Mum was there but she was, just hidden from view. And now always will be, there but not in sight. A touching thought.
My rose painting started quietly. From this early first stage of my painting the flowers could be seen. And so I added very little to complete the piece.
First stage of my white rose painting
"Peace and Love "
In loving memory.