I do not know how else to explain this new piece to you without sharing some of my clients letters:
I love love love your work, and would like to commission you to do a piece for my husband based on a poem by David Whyte, called “The True Love.” We are happy to have found each other after years of NOT finding ourselves or love, and this poem really speaks to our relationship.
There’s a faith in loving fiercely the one who is rightfully yours
especially if you have waited years and especially if part of you never believed you could deserve this loved and beckoning hand held out to you this way.
I am thinking of faith now and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are worthy of in this world.
Years ago in the Hebrides I remember an old man
who would walk every morning on the gray stones
to the shore of baying seals, who would press his
hat to his chest in the blustering salt wind and say his
prayer to the turbulent Jesus hidden in the waters.
And I think of the story of the storm and the people
waking and seeing the distant, yet familiar figure,
far across the water calling to them.
And how we are all preparing for that abrupt waking
and that calling and that moment when we have to say yes!
Except it will not come so grandly, so biblically,
but more subtly, and intimately in the face
of the one you know you have to love.
So that when we finally step out of the boat
toward them we find, everything holds us,
and everything confirms our courage.
And if you wanted to drown, you could,
But you don’t, because finally, after all
this struggle and all these years,
you don’t want to anymore.
You’ve simply had enough of drowning
and you want to live, and you want to love.
And you’ll walk across any territory,
and any darkness, however fluid,
and however dangerous to take the one
hand and the one life, you know belongs in yours.
I was thrilled by this commission and completely touched by the poem. I had so many images whirring through my mind while I read it through. I loved the image of the old man walking by the shores, the Hebrides, the boat, the hands… it was SO HARD to choose. I ended up creating two sketches (pictured above) and then gave my client the choice.
This was her letter to me after she received the sketches:
Oh Micheline! I looked first at your couple holding hands and thought it was unbelievably lovely, but then the boat one just stole my heart! I love the colors, and the sky and the sea are amazing. And my husband is from South Africa and is a huge ocean guy, and always is gazing lovingly at pictures of the blues of the seas, so you were so right about the Hebrides! Please proceed and change and embellish as you need with the boat one…
I also should comment that I like the boat one too because it almost holds more possibility, no? Like finding a partner isn’t only about the two of us together, but also so much is about having the courage finally to step out of the boat and walk on the water, which actually does hold us, no? My husband and I are late 54/49 years old and have lived a lot of life NOT being as wholehearted and courageous as we might wish, and so the boat and the water will speak to him for the way his life has come together these past few years so beautifully, romantically, professionally, and within his own being.
Thank you so much and I am most excited about this collaboration between us to bring a gift to him!!
The sky is always my favourite my part – I feel like I can get away with anything there. I knew I wanted a sunset coloured sky but I never originally planned to paint the sun itself. However, after processing the poem more I wanted to convey not only the life, joy and courage of love but also the passion as well – hence the exploding sunset.
I’m so please with how it turned out (probably because it’s practically a rainbow of colours!!! ;) ) I swear it does look far more exciting in real life – pictures just never fully do the art justice… Thanks for reading and stopping by my friends – I hope you enjoyed this one!