For me art is both a joy and necessity! I try to capture wonder and emotion in colour and express something of the beauty around, as well as the deeper emotions that we experience. I am drawing on my long experience of working with people in health care and faith settings as well as my own life history. I call them ‘intuitive abstracts’ sometimes inspired by nature or sea that I love, historical places with a modern twist, or life experience both dark and lighter, perhaps easier to think of as Inner and Outer Landscapes. I use mainly acrylic and oil paint and tend to paint in series, anything from 4 -8 paintings together with a common colour palette and theme before moving on.
During the corona crisis I am making a diary of sketches on paper logging my feelings and referencing places I have walked to since Lockdown. I have also been painting from memory some of my favourite walking haunts. I’m not sure how this will develop as I get used now to not being able to leave home (gov letter) -it is an up and down process and time to experiment too. I have moved my art group online for those who can manage the technology – even that is getting easier!
So why do I paint?
It gives me mental space and a freedom to process things – I am still working as a lay minister part-time.
It lifts me up, uses my creative instincts, and they lift the rooms they are in, providing a talking point as one client wrote:
‘The pictures are well and truly still an intrigue in our lounge – not only are they eye-catching but they are a talking point whenever guests come over… we still enjoy giving the backstory to them, which is interesting because they’re modern depictions of their subjects. … They just lift the room!”
And they are a journey for the mind or spirit: writing about what drew her to the picture, another wrote:
‘the really vibrant colours, the dark blue strokes and sense of mist, mystery and questioning. It allows me to wonder, look deeper and longer and it draws me in.’
Art can help to lift us out of the mundane, open our eyes to what is around, not just the material world we inhabit, but the colours and experiences, be they physical, emotional, mental or spiritual: the life journeys we take. It’s a journey I never thought to make, but I love the experience and hope you will join me! Perhaps my pictures may help to open doors for you too.
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Elaine Almond Updated 26/04/2020