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As a little girl aged 2 or 3 my Mum took me and my big brother, left my Father and rented a beach hut on the beautiful wild beach of Polzeath in Cornwall. We lived there through the autumn and winter despite the chilly weather. My Mum made craft items like boxes decorated with shells to sell to tourists but it must have been a bit of a hand to mouth existence. Towards the end of winter, while jumping from rock pool to rock pool at the water’s edge, I fell into the icy sea, soaking myself from head to foot. To this day I remember how freezing cold I was and how heavy my wet duffle coat. The result was that I developed pneumonia and my Father came and insisted that we all come home to a warm house.
My memories of that time are very mixed but they are full of the smell of salt, seaweed and fish the days of rolling down sand dunes with my brother firing toy cap guns at each other, collecting shells for Mum and racing to get ice cream from the local shop. What I am left with is a very real sense of belonging whenever I am on that wild borderland between the powerful sea and the vulnerable, ever changing and moving edge of the land we live on. The screeching sea birds, stunning sunsets, the wild winds and sea mists are still part of my life as I now live and paint in the West Country much of the time. Indeed the power of nature excites me and I feel I belong in such wild places; on the sides of mountains, windswept beaches, cathedral like woodlands and cool glossy lochs and lakes. I believe that is why I am so drawn to painting landscapes and why I care so deeply about climate change. I hope you enjoy my paintings.
3rd Freedom Award 2012: See the artwork
While painting this copy of Raphael's 'Madonna of the chair' I researched the Hebrew laws that were in place at zero AD in Palestine: Sadly the sentence if found guilty of adultery (in Mary's case pregnant outside of marriage) was either crucifiction, stoning or being burned alive! It was a harsh sentence which was banned by the Romans about 40 years later. However the fact remains that it was important for Mary to be married as quickly as possible no matter what the cause of her pregnancy. Hence my painting's title "Thank Christ Joseph married me!"