This work provides many firsts for me. The support medium is a wood panel, all my prior works were on either paper or canvas. A second unique element is the use of paint tube “holes”.
The “holes” were a great mistake comprised of dried paint that accumulated between the cap and the top of an acrylic paint tube, over time I would peel the “holes” off and toss them in a nearby container (my intention was to throw them away and due to laziness I let them gather). The last “first” is the reference to a gun in the title.
I am by nature not an advocate for any firearm, I see little value in their presence and often relate a gun to pain or suffering. Yet, as I created this painting the title kept circling my thoughts, as much as I tried to think of an alternative, “Bullet Proof Heart” kept returning until no other name could apply.
It is interesting how the creation evolved. The genesis began with a request to paint a heart for a card (thank you Connie) in which I did. Painting the heart quickly, the hard wood surface allowed me to move the paint around in way that I could not easily do on a canvas. Sitting back I deliberated on how to complete the work. At that time I noticed the container of “holes”, my idleness in not discarding the dried paint was a stroke of luck. Applying the “holes” around the heart created an abstract pattern with three dimensional properties.
As I applied each “hole” to the painted wood panel, I began to see what appeared to be bullets entering a target. Arranged around the heart, symbolic of love, the “holes” represented a metaphor of endurance. We walk through life pelted by “bullets” of loss, trauma, hate, prejudice, cruelty, and so many other forms of destruction. In the one year anniversary of the deaths in Charlottesville, Virginia, I offer this little creation. Despite suffering love endures, the light of the heart shines through a hail of ricochets and cloud of pain. To draw from the artist, musician and poet Warren Zevon, love can’t be stopped with a gun.