Love Is A Battlefield


“King Arthur’s Battle” (100cm x 100cm) mixed media on canvas

Search your heart, name your dreams, follow them, fight for them – they will come true!  (..but be careful what you wish for…)

“No one can tell us we’re wrong,….Searching our hearts for so long” Performed by Pat Benatar, Songwriters: Holly Knight / Mike Chapman

Since I was a child, I was mesmerised by the romantic tales of King Arthur and medieval England. This quest stayed with me throughout my teens, as I collected all the books I could get my hands on (there are many versions), whilst my parallel obsession with music began. Pat Benatar was one of the artists I loved and would heartily sing along with her records in my bedroom. I knew my future was in music and no-one could tell me that I was wrong. 

And I wasn’t – several years later, I had established a firm foot in the Toronto music scene. But it wasn’t enough, so one day I followed my heart and got on a plane to the land of King Arthur (which also happened to be the homeland of many of my favourite rockstars!). I stayed in London where I happily advanced in my music career, but then 2 years later Love found me and whisked me away to France for new adventures.

On my way to work in Paris one day, I passed a high wall in front of a grand manor on Rues de Francs Bourgeois. I suddenly noticed that the crumbling stonework was creating the illusion of a battle scene. I saw a crowd of knights riding through the dust following a crowned leader. Even though this was France, King Arthur is the only person who sprang to my mind. The next day, I brought my camera and took a photo.

About a year later, on maternity leave, I finally had the time to translate this striking inspiration onto canvas (in between nappies, bottles, household chores and playtime).  Despite it being an exciting battle scene, the cream “dust” colour created a serene environment. This was history, it was meant to be, it has happened and we are safe. Along the edges, a frame depicts  designs that can be deciphered as the Holy Grail, Excaliber, Lancelot and Guinevere,  For me, this painting represented a medley of old dreams come true, new dreams developing and good memories. I was happy and successful with a good career, a new relationship, a new baby and a new home in beautiful Versailles. I had no idea, then, that my life would soon change dramatically, nor that I would one day return to live in Arthur’s England again. 

The last time I went to Paris, I deliberately went back to see that wall, and found that it had been repaired. It was so different, reworked and unblemished that I almost didn’t recognise it. But then, it probably didn’t recognise me, either. 

The Quest – a monastery near Avignon inspires a large abstract painting


Whilst travelling to Avignon (France) many years ago, I visited a nearby monastery called the Chartreuse de Villeneuve lez Avignon. Somehow, I felt strangely at home and tranquil. I even seemed to know my way around without looking at the map. I eventually made my way down to the cellar where the laundry and punishment cells were, and immediately noticed the ceiling.  There, mould accentuated certain stones, miraculously creating the form of crosses! I took many photos which, later inspired this large (130cm x 89cm) semi-abstract painting made of layers of oil and watercolour on canvas. At the time, I dubbed this style as “Abstract Reality”. This artwork is my personal favourite and every day it both inspires and calms me while hanging proudly in my own dining room.

The Quest