With Radio 2 in the background, I worked hard over the past two days to finish this little delight. My fourth baby commission, it's completely different to the first three. Not only because there are surely hundreds of different ideas that I could come up with, but mostly because this is a bespoke painting and it's all about Sylva - where she comes from, her baby birth statistics, nationality, Chinese year of birth, zodiac sign, her parentage and the meaning of her name - Goddess of the woods and forests, Protector of the fields - and it's in this meaning and the season of her birth (Autumn), that the theme is set. A Goddess for Snowdonia.
Fitting, then, that this painting was finished just prior to the start of the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony. Enthused, as I mentioned, by the Radio 2 DJs' excited commentaries, and the adrenaline-rushing, heart-pumping, emotion-tugging sporting montages on the television, I was on course to complete this task. Having lost momentum over Easter whilst juggling work commitments, training, childcare (x 3), health and family commitments, Sylva - nicknamed Maple Leaf baby - seemed to require pure commitment in order to bring out the best in her. Regularly, my art time is just a little bit here and a tiny bit there, but Sylva needed more, and more time was scarce.
Now, at the start of the summer holidays, with a few rest days available, and the positive vibes transcending the airwaves, I gave it my all and didn't stop until every last stroke had been delivered. Of course, it's quirky in places and part 'realistic' - part 'cartoon', but the vibrancy in the colours just make it work (for me).
As with all my paintings, a lot of emotion goes in, so it's almost inevitable that there will be a tug of heart strings when it's time to let her go.