Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After

23 November 2022

Black and white photograph of Sam walking in the woods with her dog Betty

I’m always transported by a good yarn. As a child I loved being read to and all my favourite stories began with, ‘onceapullietye.’ I thought perhaps it was an ancient incantation with magic powers to soothe and relax. Today I can recapture the feeling by putting on a book tape while I’m working. There’s something so calming about listening to quiet voices, gentle conversation or a radio in another room. Not necessarily what is said but more the way they say it. And it’s this feeling of comfort and warmth I try to paint in my pictures.

It’s all too clear that we won’t all live happily ever after. But I try not to dwell on that. My own stories will always be set in an imaginary world on the edge of my vision, with little pieces of the everyday thrown in to tether the warmth to something more tangible. This gentle approach is probably why people think I could be a children’s book illustrator and many will hang my prints on the pale lemon walls of the Nursery. I tell simple stories it’s true. But as Lesley Manville said of her lovely film Mrs Harris goes to Paris, It’s like a fairy tale for grownups. And although some children may appreciate my work, these pictures and stories are created with you firmly in mind, not them. I hope you enjoy this latest collection.