When the world as I know it stops with any shock – like an accident, a death, a loss… a pandemic (!) – my process, it seems, is the same.

After the initial numbness and/or kicking and screaming inside, I go through a phase where I feel compelled to act. This is the ‘adrenalin-fuelled’ stage. The event itself often provides the means at first: like a funeral to arrange, the decisions to make, news to communicate. It’s more reaction than action based, but the ‘doing’ helps me cope with whatever has changed. Eventually though, what needs doing is done, and I’m left with the void.

Perhaps I try to fill it. To survive. I’ve done this many times. At least with age, I’ve learned to choose healthier ways. Last year it was my C-19 iPad project and my SALchemy.uk print venture that took centre stage. Both came from a heart place. They helped. Until my efforts to build a safety net wore me out, and some problems with my eyes forced me to pause this May. Then, I remembered that my truest friend is not always action, but time. I had to sit with dread until enough space and quiet washed through and it began to dissipate.

Its shadow is not gone yet. And maybe it will never fully disappear, because surely, a little of all experience becomes a layer of history that shapes our being. It’s the 10th anniversary of my mum’s death today, and I still feel echoes of that pain. It does soften and transform though, as do I 🌻

Now, after 18 months of feeling displaced (aka wrenched!) from my previous way of life, and somewhat floundering in the present, I’ve looked myself in the eye and said, ‘Hello again!’ My energy has changed. There’s more clarity. Possibilities. Expansion. I’m regenerating. With that comes the desire to paint in my favourite, expressionist way.

‘Hello again!’ reflects the best of what’s happening inside me SAL this summer, but also celebrates our collective tentative return in 2021 to reuniting, meeting, arriving.

May it transmit joy.

I think my mum, Judy Townsend, herself a great creative spirit, who started me on my painting journey in 2011, would be happy that I’m posting this today.


Hello again!’ by SAL 2021
Mixed media (acrylic, mum’s gold FIMO powder mixed with PVA, and Inktense pencil) on stretched canvas
, 40x50cm

For sale, £375 + P&P* professionally framed by Art Framing, Shrewsbury, in white contemporary frame, framed size 43.5×53.5x3cm (no glass), fitted with felt protector pads, D-rings and cord, ready to hang, with picture hook included 😊

£100 from the sale of this painting will be donated to the Shrewsbury Severn Hospice in joyful memory of Judy Townsend.

* Payment by direct bank transfer within UK, no VAT involved.
If you are not in the UK, please enquire as we will need to look together into any payment gateway fees and customs fees etc., post Brexit… nothing is impossible I’m sure, but things are less straightforward than they were before 😕

Ask me about the painting or come and see it if you are in Shrewsbury:
saltownsendblake (at) gmail.com or connect on Instagram @saltownsendblake.artist

The camera and our devices can’t quite convey the joyful ‘lightness’ of this painting, but here are two details anyway:

Detail 'Hello again!' SAL
Detail 'Hello again!' SAL

My mum (1937 – 2011) , always my inspiration to live and paint with authenticity:

My mum and me SAL, Pembrokeshire Wales 2009
My mum and me, Pembrokeshire Wales 2009
© SAL, 2021