The Nature of True Love


I have been crazily curious for a while now about mono printing on a gelatine plate. It’s easy, it’s clean and the results I create mesmerise me. I use mainly natural materials collected from my local environment for my prints. Once used, they never get thrown away. They often appear in other works of art too! At the moment they appear in paintings I am working on and I like that; that something used is never discarded but honoured and re-utilised in some other way…

At first, I began to collect leaf shapes I intuitively knew would offer up a good print. But as an avid gardener and ‘allotment-eer’, other things began to fascinate me! The leaves of cured shallots drying in the summer sun became the ridges of hillside contours in a landscape. A slug-eaten runner bean leaf was collected during a mild and muggy day in damp Cumbrian August. That became an illustration for a limited edition poem, ‘Silica’.

In time, I have begun to collect certain leaves at certain times of the year, almost in honour of the cycle of the year and Her subtle changes to the natural landscape that surround me; wind-torn hollyhock leaves in autumn equinox gales, hawthorn confetti lying in puddles in October ‘lonnins’ (tracks between fields), skeletal holly from Winter’s clearing away. So, WHEN I collect my material has became just as important to me; New Moon energy rising, full moon bursting with life, lunar eclipse, super moon, astrological time of Imbolc, Mercury retrograde, Uranus moving into Taurus and so it goes on…

Why are Fragile leaves so imperfectly more beautiful than perfect ones?

I have been allowing this question to sit with me for a few years now and this month came the crystal clear understanding as to why AND I am SO grateful for uncovering it. It’s not a new revelation, and many will identify with it straight away, but feels astonishingly new to me and could well be news for you. I guess it’s so profound for me because I am usually quick on the uptake! To me, these leaves speak of the nature of human relationships.

Theses imperfect leaves symbolise that human relationships are not easy! No shit! In fact… I have considered for some time why our species still exist even because of this! But I think, it is because, WE think and have the capacity to think deeply or think far!!!! That human relationships are not easy is both something that is not new to me and at the same time IS new to me. It is relatively new to me to acknowledge that the uneasiness of relationships is normal and actually healthy.

Here’s a quote to help explain – a set of very wise and comforting words…

“It’s a fantasy to expect a mutually fulfilling relationship to not be without struggle. So often we think that relationships should be easy – and so when things start to get real we run away, only to be in a similar situation down the road. Relationships are easy and hard, they are inspiring and they are painful… they are full of love and they are full of challenge.”

Denise Semanchin Relationship and Love Coach

What is True Love?

It is True Love when things get difficult and work is required. Relationship sometimes means getting dirty and messy, but for all the right and good reasons. For strengthening the dynamic and for your personal growth. These fragile, vulnerable leaf forms symbolise the beauty of True Love. Pain and challenge cause people to grow; we may grow as ONE, or apart, and even that is ok if worked on together respectfully. And a good toolkit will help us to navigate such challenging times!!!

What can I offer you?

I am not a relationship coach. I am artist with compassion.

Have you struggled in your relationship recently? Have you overcome challenges? Was it painful? Did you believe it could NEVER be resolved? But did you triumph? Grow? How did you celebrate that journey you took?

I am offering a morning or an afternoon to work with me, to celebrate and honour your journey by producing an Imperfectly Perfect framed monoprint. The piece symbolises the innate beauty of your relationship, it honours the journey you bravely took, however painful, to overcome a deep challenge. It represents the fact that despite challenges, pain and feelings of insecurity, you can overcome them in a healthy way and grow from darkness towards light (always towards light) and become empowered that little bit more…

So, I invite you to come along and spend time with me in The Amber Studio; a beautifully healing space created in a Nature Garden along Hadrian’s Wall. Let’s create a mind blowing Imperfectly Perfect monoprint, framed and ready to hang in your home upon leaving which gives thanks to you for honouring your growth and precious journey.

Two hours, morning or afternoon, will be spent collecting imperfect fauna, pressing them and creating a finished monoprint, embellished with either silver or gold leaf. Get in touch for more or visit my shop for more details…


And if you live near Carlisle, Cumbria, UK…

I will soon be at Morton Manor for the Belief Mind, Body and Spirit Event. It’s on Saturday 16th March from 9 am. I have a stand which will have a selection of my Imperfectly Perfect monoprints for sale or pre-order. I am giving a lecture and free demonstration on this theme. Come and see me! It takes place at 12 pm. Entry to the event is £5.00. There are many talks and demonstrations and stalls offering a range of wellbeing therapies. It’s a popular event in the calendar for Carlisle if you are in the area!

Peace to all… light to all… love to all.

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