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  • Valerie May

It's about the love


Yesterday, I was merrily working away with a resist technique on a larger size canvas. This technique involves adding a special glue, that dries but isn't super sticky, to your base work. Once the resist is dry, you can paint over top, let the paint dry, then dig down to remove the resist. Peeling back the layers of resist to reveal what's underneath is so very satisfying!


My plan was simple - peel up the circle resist shape, then add more lively colours to create an abstract sunset. All was well until I received a phone call that changed my sunny ways into introspection. The sunny yellows and passionate reds I'd picked out became blues and browns. Opposite, and awkward. And I had a feeling of being spun upside down. However.


I left the circle shape intact, waiting for an idea among the new darkness of the piece, not really knowing why it should remain, but doing it anyway. Slowly, the bottom became brown earth. The top, in blue, became heaven. The news of the phone call, of course: an elderly friend had passed away. You know those friends you have, that you talk to once per year, and you spend a couple of hours going over thoughts and opinions, and you never stop to question how, while not being physically together ever, those two hours fly by, as if time stood still? She was that friend to me. And, I hope — I to her.


Back to the circle: something wasn't right. How do you feel? I asked myself. For me, ideas will come if I really root through those thoughts for a while. I sit on top of them, like a penguin on a chick egg, waiting for the vibration and the crack. The circle was key, but I couldn't quite grasp why yet. I took a break, then the breakthrough: maybe, just like my day, I could spin the canvas around, upside down. Yes! The circle became the letter "O" and I knew at that moment I'd found the LOVE - right there on the canvas. And realized that I truly loved my friend.


But what about that blue heaven? Now it was below the earth. In every art work with a depiction of heaven, it appears above the earth. But that's the beauty of creating. You never know which direction it can go, and sometimes you have to just follow the love, leaving the judgement behind.

So. Going forward, I'm going to try and examine all the forms of love more intensely, and incorporate more layers into my art. I'm no longer going to look through the marketing lense of art. Only the love. Then, I'll know whoever may (or may not) buy it, they will obtain a little love in every piece.


BTW: this painting isn't finished. I'm adding some gold paint pen details to reflect upon the treasure my elderly friend was.


For JP. Say hello to the others for me :)