24x36 Las Vegas, Nevada
The pain you have experienced comes out as light - within a deep harmony that sounds Earth toned. The light is what taught you to sing growing up, but the dark of the pain that it became keeps you searching. Simply put, the search is progression and eventually, evolution.
When I picture your voice it is always within the mahogany that the walls once were, and it always sparkles, like all of those rooms still do today. It’s like we’ve spent so much time of our lives in those tones we have become them. I’d be over there, yelling “Order Bar” at the south-side bar, with my back turned to you and the piano. But I’d always hear it, how you’d sing “Diamonds in the Sky” in a husky, drawn-out alto scale. You sounded superhuman to me in those moments and some of the clearest memories of moments I possess. Your voice singing that song was one of the only things that could get me to stop and just listen. The power of that memory is hard to formulate into words.
I was adamant that I didn’t want any white in this painting because I feel you spent much of your life trying to do everything right and along with the symbolism that color represents. I chose to honor the emerging light within your skills of inclusive leadership, humor, hard work, vocal talent, and spirit with purple, the seventh crown chakra color.
The color of knowing and connection to your spirit. That part of you that can look inside of yourself and be proud of who you have worked to become. Sometimes there is so much more beyond the color and representation of purity - the color and representation of what within this life it has taken for you to know yourself and be proud of what you see and feel.
The metallic denim blue tones are in my heart, Lake Michigan. The city we are from, and the comfort and feelings of home you have always given me with your accent and willingness to wear a very special Chicago Bears hoody. Naturally, the metallic burgundy had me laughing as I was picturing the Blarneystone and all of those crazy little brick building bars we would laugh about outside the city (Fat Sams what up, remember trying to remember the name of that place for days?!) Also, that warm burgundy is like the mahogany backdrop where we met and learned to know each other.
The black is the darkness you have had to grow beyond - the loss, the pain, and the black glitter on top is the gratitude for the person it has molded you into - a grounded, beautiful woman of resilience. A silver lining of sorts. But silver with purple would have been too my little pony, even for me. The darkness isn’t the prettiest but it is a damn good base for all of the layers on top of it that give it wholeness and purpose. And hey. All music is always written in black no matter what.
About the sparkles - The way you have made me laugh in this life is beyond the humor skills of mostly everyone. The sparkles are Khae’lyn, your mom, your crazy Aunties that will whoop your ass, your petty fights with Brian, your Dad. It’s all of the people that have loved you throughout your life the most, who in turn have taught you to love back. Even when it feels like you’ve lost everything and you’re not sure what the next step is - essentially - you do. The hard topcoat is the resin shield, representing once again the resilience you have developed that brings an added depth and meaning to all of the tones and textures.
I guess I wrote all of that so I could tell you that I can see you, because I can feel you, and I can especially remember your voice. When I meditated on this painting specifically for you I asked God to allow me to create a way to show you what your voice and strength and spirit look like to me when I think of it, hear it, laugh with it. Thank you for that inspiration and the ability to create something beautiful. Thank you for supporting my art and my freedom. Thank you for giving me the sight of sound.