Monday, July 13, 2009

What Is Love? – The Conclusion

WOW! Eight days of semi-solitude and sun – what fun! No television. No radio. No computers. Just a quaint little cottage along the shores of Lake Erie. I was soooo into turning ‘off’ that I didn’t even take any pictures – that would have been ‘doing something’ and I wasn’t into that… at all.

Near the end of May of this year, I was chatting with my mom on the phone. She was explaining that my grandfather was becoming very ill – we’re all still praying and hoping for the best for him – so she was making sure that all the ‘legal’ matters were in place. She told me that her lawyer was a bit concerned that Joanne and I were not legally married.

Jo’ and I had created our personal wedding ceremony – on our third year anniversary of being together – way back in August, 1997. Neither Joanne nor I wanted a ceremony that involved the church or the law. We wanted to share this joyous time in our lives with our family and close friends and of course the big chief of the universe. Joanne, bought fabric and sewed her own dress, our rings were bought at a pawnshop and the event took place in our living room, with no expense for halls and banquets. We always like to keep things simple and more intimate.

Our parents understood to respect our beliefs. However, now that we’re older, we became aware that ‘common-law’ marriages can pose certain problems when sorting out wills and other legalities. I explained this – briefly – to Jo’, while still chatting on the phone with my mom, and we decided to get married legally, to make legal proceedings easier in the future.

This was one of the reasons why Joanne and I rented a cottage for a week. It was our honeymoon!!!

We arrived at the cottage on July 4th. Met our families in nearby Niagara Falls on July 8th for the ceremony and then enjoyed the last few days at the cottage before coming home just a few days ago. I’ll share photos and stories from this event in my next blog entry.

So… what does this have to do with the completion of my art project entitled “What Is Love?”

When I began this project, in February of this year I had no set time to finish it… it really didn’t matter, at that time. I was thinking that it may make a nice anniversary present or possibly I would give Joanne the painting for her birthday.

Suddenly, with the upcoming wedding, I knew that I had to have this painting done to give to Joanne as my wedding present to her. I really had to put in the hours to accomplish this and when I was finished I was in need of a little vacation. I finished it July 3rd, just before noon and later that evening I presented it to Joanne.
Now – this is a very unique painting and before I simply unveil it for all of you, I think that it is important to understand all the different elements that went into the design of this painting.

From the beginning….

I spent close to two weeks just laying out my construction lines, preparing the canvas and mixing the paint colours.

Some of you already know that I was ‘splattering’ the canvas with bits of paint and taking pictures of this process to try to create an animation film.

The animation film would see all of these bits of paint slowly taking shape to form words that would spell out a poem.

Since the poem refers to love ‘ignighting’ I thought that it would be kinda funny to have a ‘love-bomb’ explode at one point of this animation film to fill in the final image. This picture shows the beginning construction of the bomb at the bottom of the canvas. In previous blogs I had mentioned that I was having difficulty with some of my paints drying up, so I had to increase my speed and stop taking so many photos. You can see that the border is filling in quite rapidly now.

I had a spontaneous idea to create the image of a heart within the bomb… this gave me a chuckle or two.

As the word ‘ignights’ is completed the fuse is lit…

As each of the final words find their place on the canvas, the lit fuse draws ever closer to the bomb.

Now, the poem is complete and the fuse has reached the bomb. It is ready to explode.

I have shared all of this – up to this point – in earlier blogs. Now it is time for the ultimate explosion and the completion of the painting. I hesitate at this point, because after this the story will be finished and then it will begin to fade into our memories… so let’s really soak this in, cuz THIS IS IT!!!!!

The explosion takes place in three stages…

So – there ya go! That’s it. It’s done. Completed. Finalization. LOL!!!

Joanne came home from work and I decided to take her out for a simple dinner and a bottle of wine to celebrate. When we returned home it was time to show her the painting. I wanted Joanne to enjoy the experience without me standing over her shoulder, so I went and had a shower while she went into the living room to see the mirror that I had created for her.

Joanne absolutely loved it! When I joined her in the living room she had a big, bright shining smile for me and a few tears of joy. “I don’t think that anything like this exists in the whole world. This is so special. Thank you for loving me so much,” was what Jo’ told me as she gave me a big ‘ol hug!!!

We sat and enjoyed it together for some time. Joanne would ask me questions and I would share stories about how it made me feel to create such a beautiful peace of art. I told her that I had been sharing photos during it’s creation, on my blog and Facebook and that this painting had quite a following – but for different reasons. Joanne saw the final image, everyone else was being captivated by the creation of the poem.

“Poem? Do you mean all the words in the painting,” she asked. I told her that it was a bit more than that. She let that be a mystery until the next day. Jo’ said that she was already overwhelmed with so many thoughts in her head that she couldn’t take any more in, right then. I totally understood.

The next day, about an hour before we left for our honeymoon, I showed Joanne all the photos that I had taken over these last five months. Suddenly, it all hit home and she could not keep the smile from her face. “It hurts!” she said, “to have all these emotions running through me like this.” She loved it!!!!

We had just enough time to take these pictures, before we left.

See! I told you that she loved it – she just gave me a kiss!

But now we have a problem. This is the seventh portrait of Joanne that I’ve created in the last fifteen years and we are not sure where to hang it. I guess we’ll have to do some more saving so we can buy a house with more wall space! LOL!!!



Jenn said...

Loved this!

dave said...

that is very sweet!

Laurie K. said...

This has got to be the absolutely COOLEST thing I've every seen... you have an amazing creative mind, thanks so much for sharing this. I'm so happy for you both, you are inspirational. ~ Laurie

Barry said...

Beautiful story of a beautiful painting of a beautiful woman. Thanks for sharing this experience.

ritva said...

You both are so sweetie!! Wish u all the best that I can wish... love also your writings Jim! Great to have be your friend!! Much love Ritva