I was thinking about this last painting I just finished. Valentine was painted not so much as an eye catcher for a window in a gallery, but from a deep place in my heart. Valentine is a culmination of every belief I have about my place in life as an artist. I painted dozens of faces till I found the one you see here. This face is resolved and content with her life. It is sort of a Valentine to myself that what I have done is worthwhile .
I have come to appreciate the simplicity and ordinary subjects I ponder as worthy of contemplation. Sometimes the simplest things can convey the deepest meaning. A glance from someone you care about can say something that sticks to you and permeates your life. Hopefully it is a glance speaking acceptance and love. The smallest things can have a big impact on how you perceive the world.
This Valentine painting is just that to me. If it is that to me, I hope it is that to the person who ends up owning her. The abundant rose theme is one I have used before but it means the same thing. Find the roses as life and beauty and joy.
The red chair is one from my past in particular but I am sure everyone has a special reminder of a good place in your life, and chairs in my paintings are also a nod to being grounded. The colored dashes swirling around are there to show breath and movement as nothing in life stays the same.
This is not just a pretty painting if you look a little harder. Every stroke of paint an artist puts down comes from somewhere important and it is worth investigating so you can see the work deeper. Happy Valentines Day !
I think it might be easier to figure out what you do want by figuring out what you don’t want.
You don’t want to say the same old thing. You don’t want do a repeat of something that sold , because then you are just looking for the elusive secret that the first painting had. Maybe there is only one thing and you can’t just crank them out .
Being inauthentic is another avoid-at-all-costs trap , so we don’t want to go there.
As long as you know what to avoid, you can see what you do want. Real. Refreshing. Beautiful and surprising work. I think the work has to surprise you too. There is no formula and if you have one then throw it out. Formula art is not even art.
What you are left with is best-case scenario , authentic, egoless, courageous art that speaks to you and everyone else — something that was never heard before. This is every artist’s best; it’s the reason to keep painting because when you do this — when this occurs — it is actually fulfilling your destiny.
Our style is similar to the glitter trail left by a slug. Wherever the slug goes, a thread is left of his life for all to see. How is this not a perfect metaphor for style? Like the slug, we all leave a trail behind us for all to see. Whether you want to or not, the trail of your thoughts and choices will follow you around wherever you go. Each turn in your life ,will be illuminated by the sun .
Style is our insides leaking out . I have heard that you can cultivate style but it really is just the result of what is going on inside your mind. Change that and your style will manifest naturally.
I recently had a short vacation with a dear magnificent friend. We did nothing but talk and walk and just be together. Her home is a reflection of the intense factory of her genius mind. Just being there was like soaking up nutrients.
We were soaking in the tub of love that she calls home .
I think her slug trail would be made of not just glitter , but diamonds. Some people are just that beautiful. Everywhere she goes, diamonds follow her life. the people she teaches, the husband she has, the family she came from, they all get to be renewed by her just being alive.
When you are in the presence of greatness, you should acknowledge it and revel in it. How wonderful this life is to have people in it with diamond trails.
I have a big relationship with my paintings. Each one is not only a story but it is a part of my reason for living. Maybe if I talk about the origin of my drive , it will be more meaningful for anyone out there who might suffer the same thing.
Even though my life was very wonderful growing up in many respects there was one thing that was not drilled into me. The feeling that somehow being feminine was somehow not as important as being masculine was something I picked up indirectly and have been fighting it ever since. I can remember being in first grade and being so afraid to bring a purse to school that I carried a cosmetic bag instead. In my first grade mind that was non feminine.
It just seemed too vulnerable. It wasn’t that I did not like those things , I just felt like it would make me weak.
Now after all this time of painting women, the most pink and feminine paintings are my greatest effort to face that fear. They are the ones that are my fiercest fighters in this personal mission to appreciate this part of me.
The ability to be vulnerable when doing art is the most important aspect of it.
When you look at this painting, you might feel this on a visceral level . This might be a universal struggle. If you don’t like it , it might be for the same reason. Pink is hard to handle. It is the opposite of fluffy emotions. It is a hard core fight to be vulnerable. But without that , whats the point of even doing art?