Loosestrife at Staindrop

The Story

Behind the church at Staindrop there is a small stream hidden at the back of the old houses that line the village green. At the end of Summer 2017, I was struggling to come to terms with a sharp change in my life. I did not know it at the time but I was in deep in morning for a job I had walked away from.  A grieving that is only just coming to an end.  This display welcomed me and any walker who chose to look behind the obvious beauty of the village green. It caught my imagination and was perfect to paint back then when I did not have confidence to paint more well recognised scenes. What I still like is the railings that are so iconic to my childhood. Aged corporation poles fastened into concrete posts. They should be ugly but in some situations they have a beauty all of their own. 

During my September 2021 Witham exhibition I discover something wonderful. This little purple flower found at a time when I just needed comfort and peace is called loosestrife.  The name was given by William Turner the 16th century naturalist. The name comes as a translation of Lysimachia translating to loose and strife understood to mean ending strife.   I needed this message so much at that time. I was so deep in sadness I did not even understand, I drove around the country side looking for beauty of hope and this little scene said something to me. I has taken 5 years for it to become clear what it was saying. If I had know back then I would not have accepted it, I was too deep in mourning, but now, it makes the little painting very special.  

The painting was one of my earliest but it remains popular, maybe for its colours. I am fond of it as part of my story. It fits very much to the Stitchwort in the railing. Its a painting of an intimate little scene that has a beauty without clear identity of place.   


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