Valentine’s Day is always a special time of year for me. The middle of February has been a time for celebrating romance, marriage and love for thousands of years. Our modern day festivities probably had their roots in the Roman pastoral and fertility festival Lupercalia, but it’s travelled down to us today as a simple time to appreciate the love and romance in our lives. Flowers have naturally become a traditional symbol of Valentine’s Day for centuries, which is one of the reasons why I love this season so much!
Personally, I am so grateful for all the love I have in my life. My wildflower paintings are always full of my expressions of love and hope, so working at this time of year is such a joy. Love’s many facets can be glimpsed in my paintings. The interpretation is open to the viewer, but the strength of the underlying emotion is universal. Some people see love for a partner, others for a parent, others for a friend. The titles of my recent artworks speak to the many different ways we can love others and also the ways we can love ourselves. The most important message at the heart of my work is that the world needs love. This Valentine’s Day, I want to embrace the many facets of love around me and the many places it can come from in our lives.
Even though this time of year can be so centred on romantic love, I really like to make it an opportunity to appreciate the many different strands of love in my life. My husband Mike and I have been together for ten years and married for five. Having his love is so special! Beyond that, I also have the love of my four children, so many wonderful friends, and of course, my team here at work. These other strands are so important.
Love is truly all around us. It’s just a question of letting that love into our lives and recognising that it comes from everywhere – from lovers, parents, children, friends, colleagues, strangers… I always want my heart to be open to the love the world can offer me.
When I was a single mother raising my daughter Poppy, my best girlfriends and I used Valentine’s Day as a time to give each other flowers. We wanted to acknowledge that there are so many different kinds of love that exist in our lives outside of romantic love and remember that they are worth celebrating just as much. I am so thankful to the wonderful friends I have around me who have stood by me over the years. They bring so much joy and support into my life.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day with friends is just as special as celebrating it with a partner. Sending a card, gift or flowers to friends to show how much you love them and appreciate having them in your life is always a worthy gesture of the depth of your friendship.
The ability to love ourselves is so important. Personally, the feeling of being comfortable in my own skin is key to the way I work. In order to truly surrender to the canvas and pour my heart into my artwork, I need to love myself and feel secure letting go. For this, I am so thankful for the periods of time I spent travelling and exploring the world when I was in my twenties. That thirst to discover more about the world around me helped me learn more about myself and how to love myself.
In order to truly love others wholeheartedly and live our best lives, we need to feel good about who we are and love ourselves first. Valentine’s Day can be as much about loving yourself and feeling good about yourself as it can be about loving someone else.
I am so lucky to have my husband Mike. I love him so profoundly and it feels like such a blessing to have this love in my life! After ten years together and five years of marriage, he still gives me butterflies. In June this year, we’ll be celebrating our sixth year of marriage. I’m grateful for any excuse to celebrate our relationship though and Valentine’s Day will be no exception. Every day with him deserves to be celebrated.
Falling in love and opening our hearts to another person is such a special, intimate act. We want to treasure that relationship every day we have it – whether that’s with small gestures of kindness or grand gestures of love. Whether it’s getting a card, gift or flowers on Valentine’s Day or any other day of the year.
If you’d like to purchase anything from my shop in time for this Valentine’s Day, please note that last posting day for guaranteed delivery by then is the 12th February!
I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.