Emma Howell

Always By My Side


An original painting from the four year wild fire collection.

Acrylic, soft pastel and pencil on paper, 18″ x 24″, 2020.


With my youngest in my arms, I stepped onto a book left by my eldest and slipped. I have never felt fear like it. Time felt like to slowed to a crawl, and I became acutely alert and aware of my surroundings. As I slipped, I fell off balance and started to fall forwards, but unable to grab the banister as I was holding my 3 month old son.. I did what I could. I held him tightly into my chest, threw my head backwards, whilst crumpling at my knees so I wouldn’t fall forwards. I ended up falling backwards onto the stairs, whilst sitting on my left leg yet continuing the slide down the stairs. 

My wife is there. Always by my side.

I can’t think or focus, I’m struggling to see properly and becoming less aware of what is around me.  The paramedics come into the room, they act quickly, and I get put on morphine and a fluid drip.  My jeans are cut off. I can see my leg, its white and misshapen, my foot looks like a wax model.”

I already knew him so well. We were connected by so much more than organs and physiology. Our heartbeats would synchronise, when I was calm he would be too, when I was anxious so was he. I was reminded of my grandmother (who died 5 years previously) telling me that it was important to try to have happy thoughts while you were pregnant because the baby feels everything that you feel, and that you didn’t want to have a worried baby.”


Unframed – If you would like this artwork fitted into a bespoke wooden frame (natural bare oak, dark stained oak, plain white or plain black), please specify on the checkout page or send me an email after your purchase.

An additional £60 for the frame + an extra shipping cost will be invoiced to you separately.


SKU: EH2020-115 Category: