"One of the most precious things that my Mam and Dad gave me was an old leather suitcase of photographs that had been my family in the village of Springside for generations.
Other than these old black and white images, sometimes I have to rely on the images that are stored in my minds eye. It's only a brief snapshot, like those old photos, but sometimes it's like replaying an old film that has all the sounds, smells and tastes that are relived in a dream.
One image that can only have come from the faintest memory, as I don't have a photo of my Mam doing this, is of being tightly tucked in her old tartan shawl and being carried around as she got with the jobs around the house. If I close my eyes I can see that it was a red tartan shawl with big thick twisted tassels around the edge - slightly prickly because of the wool but if I try hard I can remember the scent of the wool too.
When you’re young you never imagine anything changing for our perspective of life is that time lasts forever and days are long but we know all too well that things do change and nothing lasts forever, people who we thought would be in our lives for eternity are long gone and all we have left are what’s contained in an old suitcase stored in the attic.
One thing that helps lift the spirits is what I’m able to bring by means of some paint and a canvas for its almost like having your dream right in front of your eyes to relive over and over again for they contain those detailed memories in glorious technicolor.
I’m always asked by art students what the secret to painting is and I usually tell them to paint from the heart and not from the head for art is an emotion and whatever frequency you are putting on to the canvas will resonate with the viewer which is why I think I have a great number of people stand and cry at the images I produce for they have their own personal dreams triggered as they stand and look at them and all the memories, the sights, sounds and voices come flooding into view. It’s almost like having a piece of art that loves you back.
I hope this little indulgence into my own memory of my mother helps you to relive a happy time with yours."
Join our community for the latest news and updates. We’ll send you regular emails and a welcome ‘gift’ for first time subscribers.