Power to your Paintbrush

Hazel Tyrrell describes her artistic journey creating her portrait for the exhibition

By Paintings in Hospitals

Hazel Tyrrell

Sara Hyde, A&E nurse (2020) by Hazel TyrrellPaintings in Hospitals

I  have always known that I was meant to be an artist, but have done many other jobs whilst bringing up my children.  I completed a fine art degree when they were teenagers, graduating in 1996, and did for a time paint a few commissions, but then I had to get some regular paid work and ended up teaching art in a men’s prison for ten years, whilst painting portraits in my spare time.

The last portrait I painted was of my husband Mick, in the summer of 2012.  It was 80% finished when I showed it to him as a surprise on his 65th birthday, in July that year.
He had been having treatment for bladder cancer, and we then got the news that it had returned and had become aggressive. He died two weeks before Christmas that year.

I have not been able to find any motivation to paint since, I completely lost my mojo.  

Harriet Durkin (2020) by Tom CroftPaintings in Hospitals

Then I saw this call for artworks and it was like an epiphany.  I just thought - This is me!  This was something I could really get excited about because it was worthwhile, it had a purpose, and it was just what I needed.

It felt wonderful to be painting again – I felt like I’d got ME back.
Very soon I was having ideas about other paintings I wanted to do, and feeling that I was getting my life back on track.

Sara Hyde, A&E nurse (2020) by Hazel TyrrellPaintings in Hospitals

This turnaround for me has happened all because of this brilliant idea.  This exhibition has inspired so many artists as well as myself. I am so very grateful, because I feel like I have re-joined the land of the living.

Power to your paintbrush!

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