I hadn't quite realised how many things have influenced not only me as a person, but now that I can acknowledge them and work with them; how they influence my artwork. I could list them all individually here but that would make dull reading indeed! So instead, here's just two influences and how they've impacted my art journey.
My beautiful 8 year old suffers with Cystic Fibrosis; which is life limiting and incurable. Anyone who knows anything about CF, knows how tough it is for her and for all the family. I'm not going into that here, but will direct you instead to cysticfibrosis.org.uk. It has however been a massive influence on how i look at life, how i deal with things and has made me recognise those things that are truly important in life. I have as a result of this adversity, established an appreciation of mindfulness practice that I feel a true benefit from. This has manifested itself into solo walking; using this as a mindfulness practice. This is a practice i wish i could find more time to do! I walk and I see, and I think and I notice and I observe things; things that bear a resemblance or are a metaphor for my psychological wellbeing. This can be seen in some of my art work; Pictures of trees as I look up through their branches to the clean air above. Those branches reaching up to gather oxygen, for us to breathe in, and which metaphorically represent the cilia in our lungs - that become so hampered by mucus in patients with CF that infection takes hold. Seascapes that represent being deep in thought and perhaps melancholic. But I've only just recognised CF as an influencing factor and as much as I hate it, I have used it to my benefit and used it to develop my creative intention and dsicovered an appreciation of the outdoors as a nourishing experience.
A second influence has been childhood memories; In particular - Sundays and being forced out in all weathers on a family walk, arming ourselves with plastic carrier bags (shocking!) to fill with 'interesting things' - which inevitably included stones, feathers, petals, odd shaped twigs, fungi - all sorts, and which certainly was destined for the bin on our return! My point is, that this was a real influencing factor on me (I still collect stones, rocks, fossils & have piles of them in various places in my home, all representing different things) and the geography and history that these objects own, become a fascinating source of stories and research. In my art, I have interesting things that I have collected and photographed with a macro lens to get up close and personal, and to which I want to afford a higher appreciation. That object was relative to something at some point and though rejected or cast aside, still retains an elegant beauty that I want to elevate.
Suffice to say there are many more influences that I could list and maybe another couple could be shared another day!