Merging shadows - Ilmington artist's beautiful paintings of Queen Elizabeth II
Ilmington artist Naomi Hands-Smith’s colourful illustrations of The Queen have taken on a new meaning since the monarch’s death.
Mum-of-two Naomi told the Herald: “I’ve been drawing The Queen for about two and a half years, always with a full heart and a deep admiration of her. It doesn’t matter from which angle you look at our country from, she is always the centrepiece, and that’s why I’ve been so inspired to draw her.”
Two of Naomi’s recent artworks have been widely commented on since last week’s sad news: one of The Queen hugging Paddington Bear and the other of her walking side-by-side with Prince Philip.
Explaining the thinking behind them, Naomi said: “I think the Paddington Bear moment [filmed ahead of her platinum jubilee] is so monumental to The Queen’s story – and I wanted to capture her with him. I actually drew it a couple of weeks ago. The
hug captures gratitude and emotion. Obviously now it does look so beautiful because it’s more of a goodbye.
“With the one of The Queen walking with Prince Philip, their shadows merge together, and it’s that essence of being reunited. I am a believer in the sense that I believe people never really leave you, and I think he never left her side.”
There are little hints and signals in Naomi’s drawings that sum up The Queen – a cup of tea, the Red Arrows, an oak leaf…
Naomi explained: “The Queen’s been our constant throughout years of change and I think people needed her. I like to make sure there are hidden little symbols of what she means to our country as well.
She was the master of small
gestures that actually made the world of difference.
“It’s a blessing if someone connects to my drawings of her.”
For print copies see www.riverswanofavon.etsy.com.