This artwork is such a special one for me as it was of such a difficult time in my life and is so much part of my journey in so many different ways, not just in life but also as an artist, this is a large coloured pencil piece that took over 70hours and 2.5 months to complete.

I have re-posted this blog post from one which was done many years ago here is part of what I wrote:
I knew I wanted to do piece about becoming a mother as it’s had such a profound effect on the woman I am. I am a mother of 3 children 1 lost during pregnancy at 5months in 2002, and today i have two wonderful healthy boys.

During 2008, I was challenged by events that were occurring in my own little family, I was going through a separation and an unexpected change of life. During this difficult time, the love and need to look after my children gave me strength. It was through and for them I was able to pull through and just get through each day moving forward. I remember thinking that it would be the same for all of us, especially during difficult times that our children give us strength, they weren’t doing anything directly they were just there and needed protection and love and that is what spurred me on and still does continue to inspire me everyday to help them grow and learn.

So my piece “Gathering Strength” was created. It was to challenge me artistically by being my largest coloured pencil piece to date. I wanted to explore various ways of laying down colour in a way that loosened my style up but also wanted to experiment in new techniques to help cut down on some of the time involved in creating large coloured pencil pieces. It was also to challenge me composition wise as I wanted to convey a story and pull the viewer in to try to see something happening in the piece rather than a standard portrait.

Here is what was written in my online art journal during the works in progress stage:

” I don’t choose to see it as a sign of weakness but a sign of strength, that you can come through something difficult with your head held high. The truth is, although this is good in theory its not always easy to find that inner strength. This piece is about how I have been gathering my strength, its through the wonderful support of friends and family but especially through the love of my two boys.

So, for all the mums out there i am sure at one point in your lives you have had to pull yourself together and find strength from somewhere. This piece is about being a mum and the strength that loving your children and them loving you without them knowing it can give you.”


For all those going through something difficult, I hope you can find your own inner strength, maybe art will help you through that. Do what you need to do, be kind and nuture yourself.