In 2015 I wanted to contribute to a project to remember a friend in our school community who had battled with brain cancer for many years, but had always inspired those around her with her incredible spirit and grace.
When this beautiful lady left us, her dear husband came to the school with a request to raise awareness for the “Cure Brain Cancer Foundation” in memory of his wife. The school reached out to the community to offer items such as products and services to the event.
I thought to myself, ‘What can I give?’ In the months leading up to her death I had many conversations with her about art, and she loved drawing and painting herself.
We shared an appreciation and love for the Australian bush, which she could look out onto from her home. Her favourite flower was the sunflower. I too love the serenity of the bush and the singular beauty of a sunflower.
The idea came to create a special painting to represent this graceful lady and to donate this painting to raise money for the “Cure Brain Cancer Foundation” event.
I shot a photo of a single sunflower nestled amongst the soft greys of gum leaves, bush berries, native flowers and contrasting foliage of purples and greens. From this photo as reference, I began to create the final work.
Sunflower raised $2,100 for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation
I had a photo of our friend next to me while I worked, looking into her beautiful face to try and imbue her spirit into each brush stroke.
I asked her what she thought. She answered me back with her eyes. It was a very spiritual process and deeply satisfying to create art like this.
In the end, the painting was received well, loved and appreciated for its beauty and grace, just like our friend. As an artist I felt I was living by my philosophy to give art to create heart by contributing in this way.
Give Art Create Heart is the philosophy I work by and also an important part of my creative process continuing to inspire me to work in this way.