Photo of white snowball hydrangea

Soft white

In these unplanned shots (as I was setting up my deck chair for breakfast) I wanted to capture the dappled, almost ethereal light on some newly emerging snowball hydrangeas before the heat of the day lit them up with all the stark sunlight of a hot July. Patterns of shade and dancing sunlight brought out the magic of the delicate green-white heads like vintage lace against the deep contrast of a shady corner beneath my tree.

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Pure white flower in soft focus art photograph

Fierce beauty IV

Perhaps the deep contrasts implied by this subject are what spoke to me most. These tender, unfailingly optimistic flowers grow somewhere that has seen punishing climate and harsh conditions yet they grow on just the same. The vibrantly colourful carpet that they made just yards from a sacred site, birthplace of Saint David to a mother who, they say, was raped and gave birth in a fierce storm when the only place on that clifftop that wasn’t being ravaged by the elements was the small hut in which she was in labour. On seeing the way the rocks on the cliff were so carpeted by their spring colour, I was touched by the deep layers of metaphor in all of this, which spoke of the essence of the Sacred Feminine and all she has been through; how she has remained resilient and optimisic, holding her head up throughout. I found beauty in the contrasts and wanted to convey this in a painterly way.