Walking my dog up the lane this morning, I noticed all along the hedge line, where the cutter doesn’t reach, the thistles were out in flower. Those tricky things that us gardeners hate when they appear in the lawn or even worse among the cabbages and prickle us through the toughest gloves however canny we are about their removal. Left unmolested they produce the most stunning and unique flowers, creating a vibrant pinky, purple crown on the tips of their prickly stems.
It was the beauty of their flowers in stark contrast to the cruelty of their prickles that inspired my Thistle picture. I happened to be living in Stirling, Scotland, at the time, so living in the country that has adopted them as an emblem made the choice of subject even more appropriate.
All of my pictures are inspired by a time, place or moment I have spent somewhere, or with someone and my thistle picture is no exception. It is the only line drawing I did during my stay in Scotland, and leaving, with a sore heart, they are a reminder of a bitter sweet time, much like the plant themselves.
The best thing about my time in Scotland was the month I spent selling work on a stall at the Edinburgh Festival. My Grandma, who I hadn’t spent much time with up to that point, lived in Edinburgh and we had the chance to finally get to know each other. She has passed now, so as I said, bitter sweet memories. But what better picture to remind me of that time than one of the prickly plant with the beautiful flowers!