My husband Andrew and I had been married for three weeks before we moved to Chile, South America in late April 1997, (exactly 19 years ago).
It felt wonderfully exotic and exciting! I remember the most incredible sunsets, the smoggy haze over Santiago city in the mornings and the sweet smell of the fruit tree blossom in our garden.
I also felt part of the history of the place as we lived at the site of a radio station General Augusto Pinochet used (during his dictatorship) to broadcast anti-communist propaganda to Chile's neighbouring countries and beyond.
It may have a turbulent history, but Chile is one of the most geographically diverse and beautiful countries. With the stunning Atacama desert to the north and the breathtaking Torres del Paine to the south, I have some incredible memories of our adventures there.
In the middle of the country is the capital Santiago. At its historic centre is the Plaza de Armas, architecturally one of the most interesting areas of the city. A hundred palm trees provide shade in the middle of the square, while eighteenth and nineteenth century colonial buildings are overshadowed by the most modern skyscrapers.
The inspiration for my painting will be this doodle of the Metropolitan Cathedral on the corner of the Plaza.
Check back tomorrow to see the finished painting.