I cannot paint. I have had no training whatsoever. So where does this art that I paint come from? Images you can almost taste and feel, a sensory feast for people who love flowers, reminding us of our own season and time to flourish. They grow optimistically, to be admired, sharing their energetic life and then having achieved their full potential, they wither and die.
But these images continue to thrive as a reminder that the spirit and energy of their God-given source, these energetic and natural manifestations of the divine, will forever be beautiful. These reflections of the immortal and the eternal enshrined in art are an undeniable gift!
They have the ability to cause the more philosophical to stop and ponder, the spiritual to reflect and wonder, as to their true value. But for me they are simply reflections of the infinite made manifest after a prolonged period of contact with my son’s surviving spirit. They have eased what could have been a far more savage passage of time in the aftermath of his suicide. I have grown, I have changed, I have transformed.
This is my own spiritual garden here on Earth, open twenty-four hours a day. Only I get to seed it and watch the flowers grow to be all they can be, a true source of delight no matter what. With my brush, I can be both in this world and the next, with no beginnings or endings, just the flowers’ desire to be seen.
My son Andrew knew that I always loved flowers, these ‘little sparks of beauty’. In the dim light of a subdued wintry evening in November 2013 (my son Andrew had passed two years before), I found myself gazing into the depths of a freshly blacked-out canvas, curiously wondering what I was doing here and where this was going, conscious of not fully participating in this creative process. Three months earlier, almost as a matter of routine, I had stood gazing through the garage window at the discarded material possessions of my son’s life and wondering if I would ever want them removed, painful though they were to see.
As if without prompt, I just selected some colours onto a palette – simple! A poppy-like flower appeared, followed by another interlaced with small blue flowers. I caught myself thinking that I would always remember this and never forget… always remember and never forget. I sat back to survey my frenzied hour’s work – ‘awestruck’ would be a good expression… where on Earth did that come from?! The style, the texture, the layout and the picture, I had seldom even seen pictures of this sort in galleries.
Every day, I rushed home to start another picture and was still there on its completion late in the evening, weary and paint-spattered. I decided not to question it, just go with it. The images, the styles and the textures were quite an eclectic mix. There were portraits, landscapes, seascapes and woodland scenes – favouring neither oils nor acrylics, I used both, never questioning their application or my skill to do this. If I had only a little paint left, I produced baby canvases. Then I produced paintings on jewellery boxes and candlesticks; in fact, anything wooden is unsafe from my desire to enhance, adorn or embellish!
It is my belief that my new-found artistic ability is a parting gift from my son, a form of after-care extended from the other side! In fact, this gift arrived on completion and publication of my well-evidenced and documented book about the survival of my son’s spirit.
Jacquie Parton is the author of Tap Once for Yes, the moving documented account of how she courageously set out to prove, against all the odds, that her son had survived death. It is published by Local Legend. (ISBN 978-1-907203-62-6). www.local-legend.co.uk