On a spring walk with my sister from Matlock to Cromford we spotted broken crockery at the edges of a soil path. I've sometimes watched my sister on a beach, crouched down, contentedly searching through shells and stones for hours and we had a mini version of this on our walk. Together, fingers picking through soil we collected pottery shards - of plates, bowls, cups - domestic stuff, now broken, once precious (maybe), once whole. Blue/white patterns emerged as we gathered and I rejected brown shards, returning them to their soil resting places. At home I carefully washed the chosen shards and lay them on a paper towel to dry.
Later, in a Bakewell charity shop I saw a boxed flower press. Thinking it may be useful for lino printing I paid £2 for it. At home I unscrewed and opened up the press, revealing green blotting type paper and to my joy, layers of flowers, placed by an unknown someone.
An idea began to form of broken pottery and pressed flowers, things that were once whole, alive but now hints, shadows, suggestions of what they once were...
I decided to paint them in watercolour. I'd always been nervous of watercolour, hearing that it was an unforgiving and difficult medium... I've found the opposite, it is forgiving (except when the first layer is too dark) and joyful to work with. Dried mixes on the pallet awaken with water, the colours blend beautifully and with my smallest brush are straightforward to work with.
I'm painting to scale, my drawing, textile design knowledge and colour mixing training kicking in... taking me back to a younger self, building on what she learnt during a HND in General Art & Design in the late 1980's - a lifetime ago.
Paintings in my studio space at Haarlem Artspace