Choose a Lou Wildish painting and put colour back into your life!

September 2, 2020

Tony Britton, Fundraising and PR Manager, ME Association.

Lou Wildish

If life since lockdown has become a little pale and insipid and there’s room on a wall for a vivid splash of colour, then look no further than the art of Louise Wildish.  

Wildish, or Lou as she likes to be known, has been painting abstracts since her teens – almost as long as she’s had M.E.

She’s now put a selection of her acrylics and mixed media works into a new online gallery and is giving a donation from each sale to the ME Association.  

“I’d say I’m best known for my use of explosive colour, shine, bold marks and emotion on the canvas. The work has a spiritual feel, a feeling of light and hope – aiming to bring joy through the colours”, wrote Lou when we caught up with her on a quiet day last month.  

“There is something magical that happens when you pick up a brush when you are overwhelmed by an emotion, or the weather outside is atmospheric. I love to witness what happens on the canvas on those days.”  

Lou, now 45, came down with M.E. about 30 years ago but wasn’t actually diagnosed until she was in her thirties.  

What started with a mysterious and general decline in her health – a number of infections, sore throats and raised glands combined with regular absences from school – progressed to the day when she couldn’t get out of bed.  

Lou couldn’t walk, face light, sounds, people and needed to be in a darkened room all day and night. She spent a year bedbound, unable to take on even small tasks, terrified she would die.  

“Somehow, and over a long time, I managed to do my GCSEs having missed a year of school and things started to improve slowly over time. I largely recovered by the age of 18 but was never again the same person, who was full of life and energy.”  

Lou Wildish

At the age of 32, she gave birth to her daughter. Two weeks later, she was in hospital with severe dehydration after a life-threatening infection and the devastating M.E. cycle started all over again.

“Life in those days was about caring for the baby as best I could from the bed or couch. Six months later, after some endocrinology tests, the doctor finally diagnosed M.E. but only after I told him about that time in my teens.”

After a very steep and slow increase in her resilience, Lou reached the stage where she could do a little work most days.

She is now working part-time in the arts – occasionally alternating the painting with spells in the performing arts as a producer and director where she’s made films about dance and disability. 

Her work is still mainly abstracts, painted either in acrylics or using mixed media, with the very occasional portrait thrown in for good measure and to illustrate her range of talent.

The M.E. exhibition is housed in two separate rooms, one called ‘Affordable’ and the other ‘Over £100.’ Some are priced in dollars for the lucrative US market – but you can always make contact with Lou for her GB£ price and to double-check on dimensions.

These are not a lot of spotty Jackson Pollocks! They are broad strokes, deep dollops of colour and fiery counterpoint tones – with all the urgency of someone wanting to take us out of ourselves in these deeply unpleasant times and put us on a launch pad to better days. Something really to look forward to, then… 

The ME Association

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