Kirsty Chapman, aged 38, is an intuitive artist based in East Grinstead, West Sussex. She has been painting and drawing ever since she was approximately 3 years old.
Her unique paintings are created using her intuition and an ‘inner awareness’ that guides itself and leads the way.
Her artwork follows a military and Remembrance theme, with her most unique featuring a silhouette of 2 soldiers supporting each other whilst walking along a path of poppies.
The paintings are designed and created entirely by Kirsty, and the poppies within the canvases are painted with her own fingerprints. Each poppy is a unique reminder of the sacrifices made, each soldiers mark on history and marks the lives lost for our freedom.
“I use my fingerprints to create the poppies as I then have a spiritual and personal connection to the subject and the canvas. It also means each painting it totally unique, cannot be 100% replicated, and has my own ‘personal stamp’ on it”
“I was inspired to create military themed paintings as I work at the Queen Victoria Hospital, so always aware of the important role our military played in the town’s history. Helping to care for complex cases such as amputations and burns using the same techniques that were discovered and used by the surgeons during the war is amazing and I wanted to create artwork in appreciation of the sacrifices these young men made. My wonderful Grandmother Anna Gatton also worked alongside Sir Archibald McIndoe at the time of the Guinea Pigs, and always told me stories about these wonderful young men and the things they got up to on the ward. She was so proud to work there. I feel guided to remember them and ensure others do too as I am also incredibly honoured to be a part of the hospital and have a family link to its history”
She has also surprised a few people with free original canvases. Her most recent was gifted to a homeless veteran who has chosen to display the painting in a small shop so he can see it each day, and given an original painting to an elderly gentlemen in East Grinstead who she sees each morning on her way to work. A shop in Covent Garden also has an original poppy path canvas on their wall.
“The smile of gratitude when gifting my art is a feeling like no other. I love to make people smile and show appreciation to them”
She is currently planning a new painting, which is going to be both a challenge to complete and a historical undertaking. Instead of using her own fingerprints to create the path of poppies, she is appealing to both current and ex-servicmen - plus their families - to add a fingerprint or two and write a short dedication or memory in a special book to accompany the painting. This will create a unique piece of art with each fingerprint leaving a special connection to soldiers past and present.
Kirsty says “I hope to help join people together across generations by creating a talking point that will keep memories alive, last a lifetime and ensure they are never forgotten. I would like to connect the past with the present towards a ‘path to peace’, which is what gave me the inspiration for the title of the painting. I hope by contributing their fingerprint, as the painting builds the soldiers will feel a sense of pride, connection to each other, how they ALL made their mark on history and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. My Great Grandfather – who I feel is watching over me – fought in the war as a Rifleman and died shortly before it ended at age 33. It is because of men like this we are here today, and I feel it is my duty to help them be honoured just as it was theirs to serve us and deliver us our freedom”
“My aim is to collectively complete this painting and have it displayed for Remembrance where anybody can see it. I know that what will be will be, and that the piece will end up where it is meant to. When I am creating my soldier art I let the energy flow where needed – the paintings almost end up creating themselves. All I do is help to tell their story in a visual way”