The summer is a very intense period in my life, it’s very hot here, so we go to spend two months in Maials. Maials blows my mind; the slow pace; the stone houses; the landscape; the people. It’s a hard place for me in many ways, I feel defensive, judged for being a woman, for being foreign, for being an artist and a mother. I live with my inlaws and this makes me feel on edge most of the time. My children are around me in some way or another all day and night. The heat, the cool water at the swimming pool. Over eating. Walking down country lanes drinking it all in. The colours, the intense earthy colours and smells, the array of wild flowers that are strong and spiky. I made an effort to paint whilst living there the last two summers because it saves me from all of this. I made more work in these two months than in the whole rest of the year. I make myself work everyday there. This year I also spent some time everyday talking to two painter friends I have on Facebook. That was also important for me, talking and showing the work with these two much admired friends. Working through blocks with them and knowing when to stop, when to allow a piece to be finished. Talking about painting and life, but mostly painting has been invaluable. I feel like something has shifted in me for the better. I feel more kindly towards myself and I think I’m starting to see myself more and more in my work. My own identity is coming through. Drawing, reacting to nature, to stress and frustration, to new materials and to colour, even my studio space with is pot plants and cement floors.