'With cancer, you can either go into a shell or try to stay positive'
Two brushes with cancer and a vivid dream have provided a change of direction for illustrator Pollie Scott.
Two years ago Pollie underwent treatment for cancer of the womb.
"The cancer was discovered in the lining of my womb," she says.
"It was quite a traumatic time."
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After a successful operation, she was forced to return to hospital after being diagnosed with skin cancer on her nose.
Now fully recovered, the 58-year-old from Goole has embarked on a new artistic venture – painting bespoke family trees inspired by medieval designs.
Her unique work also includes touches of real gold paint.
Pollie says: "After being diagnosed with the first cancer I spent a lot of time thinking about how I could improve my work.
"I have always loved medieval art and design and thought it was probably about time I had a go at incorporating some of that style.
"With cancer, you either go into a shell or try to stay positive.
"I took the view that if I didn't do something new, I might not get the chance."
Regular journeys for hospital treatment in Scunthorpe helped focus her mind.
When her second diagnosis was confirmed, trips to Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham convinced her to change artistic direction.
As well as creating a new website for herself, she started work on a medieval-style family tree at the suggestion of her husband Peter, who is also an illustrator.
"I initially did a chart featuring five generations of his family, who were mostly master mariners," says Pollie.
"The family members were not from medieval times but I decided to dress some of them in medieval clothing.
"It really went from there."
Another more recent commission features an English oak tree with family members busy performing their occupations in medieval attire.
As well as overcoming her health problems, her other inspiration came from an unlikely dream.
"The medieval style really appealed to me because it is so decorative and I really wanted to incorporate that into the trees.
"Then I had this really vivid dream of painting a picture of Goole Market Hall all in gold paint.
"Afterwards, I wondered whether it would be possible to use real gold rather than just gold leaf.
"I did a bit of research and found a shop in London which sells pure 23.5 carat shell gold paint.
"It was like an old shop from Diagon Alley in Harry Potter which really added to the excitement of finding what I was looking for.
"The paint is gold powder made up to an illuminating watercolour.
"I think it really adds something special to the trees."
Pollie also uses genuine ground lapis lazuli in her paintings.
"Using the Lapis gives an authentic feel of an illuminated manuscript.
"It was first used by scribes in Europe in the 12th century and was the original ultramarine blue."
Having previously taught art and crafts to people with learning and disability problems at the Yorkshire Waterways Museum in Goole, she is now based in her own studio at her home in the town.
"The reaction I've had from the trees has been very encouraging" she said. "Looking back to when I had cancer, I'm glad I stayed positive."
More information about Pollie's work can be found at www.medievaltrees.com