24x36 Las Vegas, Nevada
She is the only one I know that speaks in gold. It’s a pure soul with a power that comes from humility, something that is an honor to relate to. She helps me understand what I have felt by speaking in gold about how she has felt and felt. Within her stories I have learned the language of empathy and that I am never fucking climbing a rock, real or fake. Through her gold voice, I’ve been moved to tears over the pain of not being accepted for who I am. The triumph of the simplicity of having my photo on a mantel. The unmanageability of pretending. The pain of isolation and how deep depression can dim even the brightest and most brilliant of spirits. She has a way of speaking in gold and catching the light of it all as it reflects back to everyone in the room. Every time she opens her mouth in a meeting I feel a little “yessss” under my breath.
The joy of finally being married to you would radiate out of her like a child gleefully shaking an opened box of pink nerds candy while laughing. On the meeting, everyone congratulated her on her new wife, and for finally saying fuck it and just going to the Elvis drive-thru because you both didn’t want to wait any longer. I loved how she beamed and closed her eyes happily. And I love your name.
I’ve never heard the name Saralyn before but when I hear it I think of her smiling. I have grown to really love your name as I have studied you like a fucking creep so I could paint this. I love the symmetry of your face, your blue eyes, your perfect nose but most of all I love the alignment I feel when I see you two sitting together in a room. There is just something extremely special about your wife Saralyn and in turn you to me because you bring that out of her. I guess it is that the gold within her has taught me many difficult things but also shines even brighter with joy. I can feel the peace, the calm, the childlike glee, the comfort that your presence within each other creates.
“Pink Clouds'' tend to fade but “Cloud 9” is always in a place as a thought of a living feeling. I love the song “Summertime Rolls” by Jane's Addiction, it’s been stuck in my head for days as I have painted this. I went into this thinking of gold, sunshine, candy, glee, keeping it fucking real, all of the people that love you so much all over the country, but mostly about what it would look like if I could only see the colors of what the feelings of contentment, comfort and gratitude that you two so much share within the space of each other. There is a warmth about you, an illumination that breathes such life into all that you love and love you. Just like your wife, I feel it as a bright gold but with some cool undertones because Minnesota.. Lakes and snow.
Thank you for building such a beautiful happy life with my friend. You both inspire me to keep walking this path. Wishing you both a lifetime of big sunsets, spilled nerds, happy weird 90’s songs, and the simple contentment of sitting with each other side by side. Cloud 9, even when it’s grounded