My Why I Paint on Feathers

I've been looking into why I do the art that I do!

 

A big revelation for me! So, how do I put it into words, so it doesn't sound like I'm crazy!

 

I paint on feathers and put them in vintage bottles. 

 

I've had some major loses in my life. I'm not saying I'm the only one who has, but these are things that I've realised are in my art work and where the relevance of the feather comes from. 

 

There are a few people who are very important in my life, as I was growing up. In my early teens I lost my grandma (Nana). This was hard for me, as I watched my mum in so much pain, as she tried her hardest to comfort me. 

 

I remember having the day off school, as I was so upset when she died. My Nana was a big influence in my life, she looked after me and my brother when my mum went out to work. I have loads of great memories of what we did together. The first feather appeared that day, in the bedroom of all places. I didn't have any birds or bedding with feathers, as feathers affect my chest  (I know and here I am using them every day) . I even breed poultry! Which is were I collect the feathers, which I use as my canvas.

 

The next death in my teens was my grandfather. He was one of my inspirations for doing art. I used to draw with him all the time. Anyway, on the way to his funeral; actually in the funeral car a feather just floated in.

 

My other was many years later in my early twenties. This was the best person in the world. Everyone that knew her called her Gran! But she was my gran and I was very proud of that. She is someone I strive to be like, as she was loved by everyone that new her. A very cheery, happy person. But this, as I was older hit me really hard. At the time I was studying to become a nurse, so I stepped up in the family and gave every spare moment to help look after her while she was ill. She also influenced my art, as we would draw and paint together. Guess what another feather appeared in her house! No birds anywhere! 

 

I had my first child when I was 23 years. We had her baptism when she was 5 months old. At this time my husbands grandma was fighting breast cancer. She was such a lovely lady, very caring and always happy to see us. She made me feel very welcome in the family. The whole family believe she made sure she lived long enough to see Zoe baptised. She looked lovely at the baptism, but she must have been in a lot of pain. A remarkable lady. She unfortunately died a few weeks after this. 

 

Then my husbands aunty was ill for a few months and wanted to stay at home. I spent a few weeks looking after her. Again she was an extraordinary person. Yet another feather landed on my knee as she passed away. Unfortunately I wasn't there as she passed, but I had a sign. A feather! 

 

The next, the most difficult for me to talk about, is my grandson. This is still raw, even after nearly 4 years, as I'm sure you can imagine. It wasn't just the fact that he was born by C-section only 24 weeks into the pregnancy, but my daughter was in intensive care, due to having pre eclampsia. The doctors couldn't get her blood pressure to stabilise. She was in intensive care for a week after the C-section. As you can imagine this was a scary intense time for use all. I visited her and Frank every day. Driving a 3 hour round trip every day. After what seemed like forever she was moved onto a ward. Unfortunately after a very brave fight, Frank lost his fight and died at 17 days old. As we left the hospital that night after saying good bye to him a feather joined us in the lift of the hospital! Then another in the car! 

 

The feather may mean different things to different people. There always seems to be a feather landing on or near me when I have lost a loved one. 

 

The white feather symbolises honour, trust, strength, wisdom and power. It is around to remind us we are not alone. They signify that an angel is near and our lost loved ones are still with us. 

 

I display my work in vintage bottles. Just because I love vintage things, while writing this I had a ha ha! Moment. 'Don't bottle it up' came to mind. This was another a revelation for me! 

About 10 years ago I had depression. When I was depressed I did just that, 'bottled it up'. I didn't talk to anyone about how I was feeling. With the support of my fantastic husband, I got through it. He went far beyond what any one expected of him. He is my rock, support and biggest influence. I'm so proud to be his wife. He read as much as he could about depression and did everything in his power to learn how to help me. I could not be more grateful to him. Anyway, I no longer bottle anything up, apart from my art! 

 

I hope I haven't taken to much of your time in reading this. I think it was more therapy for me than telling my story. 

 

Thanks if your at this point for reading it all. I understand it was a long story. You may know a little more about me now and where my art comes from. I hope you are inspired to do something different for yourself and of cause talk more. 

 

Thank you

Julie