STANHOPE BLOSSOM OR
REMEMBER THE COST
St Thomas the Apostles at Stanhope Spring 2019. This painting was inspired by the blossom tree. In fact it was all about the blossom tree. I went on a trail around the area last year deliberately looking for blossom trees to photograph for painting. Obviously a nasty little invader stopped me from repeating the exercise this year. When I was a child in Bishop Auckland Spring was heralded by Watling Road being dressed by blossom trees. This was before new roads and roundabouts transformed the road into something less of the avenue it once was. It always set me off drawing romantic Japanese cherry trees in blossom. As you can see there is nothing Japanese about this tree but it was beautiful last year looking something like a flouncy prom dress. All of this makes the first title obvious; Stanhope in Blossom.
The second title came to me in a half asleep moment. Maybe from the Holy Spirit maybe just a combination of things that were mulling over in my mind. Firstly there is the significance of pink. I am not a pink person, but this painting is pink. So, pink is made of red (symbolising death sacrifice and sacrificial love) and white (symbolizing purity and the power of the Holy Spirit) put the two together and pink becomes something more beautiful than a lighter shade of red. It becomes a pure gentle life giving love.
Remembrance is a clear theme in the painting as the remembrance cross stands in the foreground and the poppies are placed in the wall in front of a smaller cross. St Thomas's is in the background highlighting a faith built on the belief of sacrificial love and its power to redeem. In the foreground a family, friends and lone man represent society going about life enjoying a beautiful spring day. It came to me, in my half asleep state that, whoever we are and whatever we believe, there has been a cost for our freedom to enjoy the beauty of our wonderful region, we should remember it.