Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Avoid All Entanglements

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” 

Have you ever read a book where you have to read it slowly, savoring the words like a most expensive delicacy?  Have you ever just finished a book and wanted to start all over at the beginning again because you are so sad it is over?  Have you ever read a book that touches you so deeply in a part of your soul that you didn't know could be touched just by words typed on a page?  Have you ever read a book that you wanted to memorize word for word because it felt as if the author was telling your own story in words that you could never have found to utter?

I have.  I just finished reading If You Find this Letter by Hannah Brencher.  It is a delicious and deep memoir about the founder of the website MoreLoveLetters.com.  She is a very talented writer and she bares her soul in this book and in doing so touches many lives, including mine.  That is all I am going to say about the book because honestly, I still need to digest it more, mull it around a bit and perhaps read it once more to be able to formulate a good enough description to fit the beauty that is contained within it.  So, just go get it.  Don't get it from the library because you are going to want your own copy to hilight, write notes, and dog ear pages in.  You are going to want to read it again and then again and perhaps a fourth and fifth time.  You are going to want to read it when your life is falling apart and when your life has climbed to the mountain peak of goodness and all is right with your universe.  So, just trust me and go get it.  You will thank me later.

I decided to pair this piece of art with this post because If You Find This Letter is all about love and Avoid All Entanglements is about love.  I created this piece starting with a vintage photo of the woman and the girls.  I then collaged in the background, the bird, the keys, the hearts.  Next, I painted the grass using Photoshop and the mixer brush, extending the canvas to allow enough room for the main characters.  Then I went over to Corel Painter and painted the rest of the image using oil brushes.  Then, back in photoshop I layered the painted version over the collaged version and selectively masked out the areas where I wanted more detail.  After that I added a texture from Evelyn Flint, doubled and rotated, to add the layered mixed media feel to the piece.  Last, I created adjustment layers in Photoshop to get the colors, contrast, and lighting the way I wanted.  It was a very long process...about 6 hours worth of constant work only stopping to eat and give my Lyme stiff/painful hands a break.  I hope you like this one.  I am planning on printing many of these new collages as giclee prints in signed limited editions.  Contact me if you are interested in preordering any of these to ensure you get a copy!

Have a beautiful Tuesday.  

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