by Mollie Helliwell

I find the inspiration for my work is often found close to home. My grandmother is an illustrator and she always taught me how to find inspiration when I think I have nothing to draw. Her wisest words were “when you have nothing to draw, draw your feet.” I’ve never had an artistic block so bad that I have had to resort to drawing my own feet, that and I also find feet kind of gross, but I have always been able to find inspiration in what is around me.

My home is full of plants, a lot of them donated to me from my grandmother. Her house is crammed with them and she often gives the sickly ones to me as she has no time to nurse them back to health. Some of them live and some of them don’t. I always end up drawing the plants in my home, or plants I have seen on my travels.

I enjoy the imperfection in plants, the freedom to change aspects of them. I like the shapes and colours within them that I can play with. Painting them makes me feel like I’m at home, or at my grandmother’s house. We live far apart from each other now and I feel closer to home, and to her, when I am painting plants.

This particular piece is one that reminds me of her, the begonia is one of her favourite plants. I have painted it lots of times in the past but I painted this one recently because I am missing her more than usual. As I am writing this we are all living in a lockdown and, like myself, I think a lot of people now also realise they have taken being able to see their loved ones for granted. I am enjoying spending this new found time and freedom creating work I will enjoy showing my grandmother when life goes back to normal.

Back to Creative Inspiration Gallery