How much I missed you
Sadly, on so many levels, I've had an enforced break from my painting over the past 6 months. Sometimes it takes such a break to really bring home how much practicing art can give to you in terms of pleasure, expression, achievement, and without a doubt, wellbeing. I have massively missed being creative on a daily basis, and whilst that has been a big hole in my life for that time it has resulted in a focus on the desire to produce work which speaks to me about elements of my life which are very personal to me. This is particularly relevant to portrait painting, which is without a doubt, my first love.
My first completed painting this year is my self-portrait with my mum. My mum has Alzheimer's disease which is, as relatives and friends of sufferers will know, a cruel and heartless disease affecting not only the person diagnosed but all of those who care for them. That gradual loss of all memory and recognition must be terrifying for the sufferer, which I have witnessed but I cannot begin to imagine how that must really feel. However, I do know that it is incredibly upsetting for those who love them, who have to come to terms with the loss of the person they used to be. Painting this self-portrait with mum is, I think, a part of my grieving process for the gradual loss of the mum she used to be. She's still my mum though, and she's still beautiful, and I love her (which I tell her every day).