I started writing and painting the Thank You Letter series a couple of years back (the original idea comes from Flora Bowley). Having done the first one to my inner critic (above), I so loved the process that I developed my own version. I’ve now made Thank You Letter paintings for places I’ve loved and hated, for people in my past who brought love and for some who caused me problems, and for a year that was particularly significant in my life. I’ve discovered that you can write to anyone or anything that matters to you. And, while the process of expressing gratitude in words is delightful, expressing the less good stuff in terms of thanks has a healing and restorative effect.
I start by writing the letter, as a letter, on the paper. The words are photographed but then covered with layers of paint, and not shown to anyone else. I allow some words to appear through the paint. The feelings of the letter influence the painting, and choice of colours and gestures. The finished paintings are abstract, dynamic, and bold in colour. The intense artworks reward much looking at, as paths and landscapes and forms emerge from the colours and gestures.
Recently I had the idea that people could work with me to create their own Thank You Letter painting, which could come out of loving rememberings of people and places we’ll never see again. And be cathartic acts of closure on difficult times. I would help in composing the words, and then produce the finished artwork, which would be deeply personal.
If you might be interested in this not-quite-a-commission idea, send me a message and I’ll share more details.
And there’s a special offer for the first two Thank You Letter artworks to be made this way in exchange for helping me test the process…