There's a ton of art on the walls in my home; some gifted to me from friends or students in past classes, others I purchased at art shows or supporting artist friends and even some Free Art Friday pieces. There are a select few of my own works hanging on my wall. All of which have some kind of specific memory.
One piece of mine in particular, I made depicting a woman I met in New Orleans years ago. I was on a college age mission trip and I met her under a bridge, she was dancing in the rain. Others around me found it strange and even disturbing that she was dancing alone. I thought: that doesn't seem too weird to me... It was only when I got closer to her did I see what everyone else meant. She wasn't dancing because she was joyous... or at least not from any kind of internal joy but rather a man made joy that left puncture marks on her arm. When I tried to ask her name, she hid her face with her hands and started speaking in something besides English. I didn't think anything of it, we were in New Orleans, I had heard four different languages just at Wal-Mart. I even tried to use this as another way to try to talk with her: "Is that French?" I asked. She stuck her tongue out at us but not in a childish way but rather like a snake. It kind of rattled me. But the encounter was an experience, so, I had to paint it. The girl in the yellow dress, I met one rainy day in New Orleans, while she danced in the rain with her demons.
....And who may or may not have cast a spell on me......
I painted the above after coming home from my trip. This last month I have been staring at it and loathing it. And then I thought of Mr. Hill.
Mr. Hill was my elementary school art teacher who after EVERY project had us outline our work in a fine point black ink pen. My brother and I joke about it still to this day: "It's not done yet, where's a black pen!?"
But you know what, staring at this painting the last month, it needed a fine point black pen outline. And why not? The new style I have found IS black ink pen. Why wouldn't I take such a signifigant piece to me and re-vamp it in a newly found style that is equally as important to me?
So that's what I did.
I hope "The Lady in the Yellow Dress" conquered her demons in an epic dance that ended with her happy and healthy.
I hope Mr. Hill never stopped telling kids to outline their work in fine point black ink pen.
Thank you to you both.