Glowing poppies against a dark and moody, grey-green field, a symbol of hope for the future after the desolation of the battlefield, and the reminder of those who gave their lives to secure our freedom. I wanted to paint some poppies in 2014 for the centenary of the start of World War I. Back in school, in the early 1970's, I was lucky enough to take part in a production of the new musical "Oh! What a Lovely War". After weeks of rehearsing, we were all quite excited to see the funny Pierrot costumes and to be dressing up in Art Nouveau feathered headbands and long beads. There was a 'new-fangled piece of technology' which allowed real photographs from the war to be projected onto a screen from behind, forming a backdrop for the action on the stage. We were all ready for opening night. What we were not prepared for was the emotional impact of watching the final images, real photos of all those real young men, stalwartly proceeding on an unarmed march, towards their destruction. We were all sobbing in the wings. Despite the fact that it was 'just a play', that message of the futility of war has stayed with me ever since. My poppies needed to glow...