Ever since I received a phone message late in April 2017 informing me that one of my closest friends had passed away I haven’t experienced too much joy in my life. Rebecca Parker was someone who I met in December 2007 and was one of my close friends until her death. I loved Rebecca so much I painted her portrait as a way of saying sorry to her for behaving badly during an argument.
I last saw Rebecca in February 2017 and she was homeless and heavily drug addicted. I had a huge argument with her on the evening of February 14th (Valentine’s day). I spent almost an hour trying to talk her out of committing suicide that night. Everything I said fell on deaf ears. I tried to explain how my brother Luke had hurt so many people with his suicide (in April 2016). I tried to explain that she needed to stop her drug abuse so she could see more clearly, see a more positive future. Rebecca left the next day and I expected her to literally crash her car into a power pole as she had told me was her intended plan. Thankfully she didn’t.
But a few months later she did end her life and I went to her funeral. There were many mourners who were all grieving like I was. But for me 3 months since then I am yet to get anywhere near to any kind of level of happiness. Suicide has a huge impact on those left behind.
So today I plan to return to creating some more abstract paintings as a way of dealing with these intense emotions. I want to create paintings which express the emotion of happiness and joy. I will create art that is beautifully coloured, dynamic and uplifting. I will paint these for myself and the memories I shared with three of the closest people in my life who ended their lives by suicide. James Todd, Luke Russell and Rebecca Parker.