It’s been an interesting start to this new decade.

It sees the beginning of a new era in many ways, not least of all having to bid farewell to my youngest daughter who, at the tender age of just 19 has travelled across the world to central America where she will spend the next six months.

It has left me reflecting about the many changes ahead. It has left me feeling if I’m truly honest, pretty low.

I have today returned to my studio and wondered how I could channel this low into something more positive. My daughter Izzy has started sending beautiful Caribbean ocean photos, with the shimmering, sunlit, turquoise waters. Just magical, and it got me thinking about the myriad shades of blue and what blue means to me.

Blue is low mood, but also the colour of distant shores, deep blue skies, profoundly deep blue waters. I could dwell on the devastating impact we humans are having on our blue planet, but if I give it too much thought, I could drown in my own blue tears.

So instead,I want to celebrate blue. It is for me, calming, spiritual and can be energising, it’s regal, strong and at times comforting.

I have many shades of blue acrylics and a few new oil paints in my studio now and have certain favourites which I will explore in some experimental artworks, but I have thought about where pigments come from.

I have discovered that the magnificent semi precious stone Lapiz Lazuli (often used in my jewellery creations), at one time more precious than gold and used in many ancient Egyptian artworks and royal jewels, was originally ground up to make whats now called Ultramarine. Synthetic materials are now used in modern paints but I’ve purchased some pure Lapiz pigment to experiment with.

Ultramarine comes from the Latin ’Ultramarinus’ which means ‘beyond the sea’. I love that! I think it may become a title for a painting. Ultramarine is a beautiful deep blue. The deeper the blue, the stronger it pulls us to the infinite.

In addition to sea and sky, I associate Blue with the heavens and spirituality. It’s a colour I use in paintings to connect me to my ancestors.

In the 18th Century, the blue flower (Blaue Blume) emerged in Romantic art as a symbol of metaphysical longing and love. I have a feeling a few blue flowers may appear in my paintings whilst I attempt to calm my bereft heart.

Watch this space! In the mean time here are a few of my past blue works, and at the top, a new experimental oil and cold wax medium, the start of a new, blue year.

With love and best wishes for an inspiring and creative 2020