One Last Look, 2017
Mixed Media on Canvas
30 x 48 x 1.5 in
My reoccurring character, East sits calmly near the edge of the sea. At first glance, this piece is simply a sun-soaked homage to the summers of yesterday. However, beyond the surface and underneath the textures of this image lay a deeper story, one that even I did not expect. It is a story of shifting tides, of uncertainty, of endings and new beginnings. Most of all, it is about change.
I always intended that this piece would represent the idea of transformation. Little did I know, halfway through painting it, hurricane Harvey would make landfall. I would have to quickly evacuate my home with my pregnant wife. I left this painting unfinished, set high on a work table, not knowing what I would find when I returned. In addition to the perils of the hurricane, I would also go through a harrowing journey in the hospital as my first-born child was born over a month early.
I returned to this piece with a new pair of eyes. I returned to it, humbled. My entire city was hurting and changed by the waters. I returned to work on this piece, a new father. In honor of life’s changes and the leaps of faith we must often take in the face of strange new undertakings, I decided to incorporate some Harvey floodwaters into the paint. I wanted to use something that was so destructive to create something new and beautiful.
We are always in the process of becoming something else. To quote Kurt Vonnegut, “Practice Becoming."
So, take one last look at what is behind and leap into the unknown waters of the next adventure.