|“Love Is a Journey” takes shape after one night at The Stirring|
This painting is based on a the sketch I gave to Katie. I'd post a photo of it, but Katie won't loan it back to me (lesson #1: always photograph your work). We just celebrated two years of dating and feels awesome to paint what is basically a huge "I Love You" sign on stage at The Stirring in front of a 1000 people. Also, I can't help but be reminded of my good friends Cheryl and Smith when reflecting on the message of this painting. They are an inspiring portrait of love to me.
Artist Statement for “Love Is a Journey”
I grew up on a hilltop in the Ozarks. You could see downtown Fort Smith, Ark. from my house. When I was a Boy Scout, I loved to hike in the mountains. Now my favorite vacation trips are to the Great Smoky National Park. My heart and soul seem to breathe fresh life whenever I am there. The mountains in this painting are based on the view that I photographed from Newfound Gap. Mountains hold a very spiritual connection as well since it is here that God’s work as creator and master artist is lavishly on display.
In this painting, the mountain view is more than just a beautiful backdrop. The mountains are a metaphor for the journey of life with all of its ups and downs. In Boy Scouts, you are taught the importance of the buddy system. The buddy system is a way for scouts to look out for one another. If one person gets hurt, the other can provide first aid or go for help. Also, it is more difficult to get lost since two heads are better than one. Life is like that. It’s also better when you have a buddy to help you along the way and to share those mountain top moments with. Lastly, here are a couple of quotes I was reflecting on when creating this piece:
“Yea, though I walk through the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” – Psalm 23
“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone. It has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.” The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
“Give us this day our daily bread” – Matthew 6:11
This is my first time painting at The Stirring since we moved to the new sanctuary. I wanted to paint something BIG, but I also wanted to paint something for me. I don't get commissioned to do large works often nor I do sell large ones often. It feels like a fluke when one sells. They can end up at your house for a long, long time (I'm looking at you, Mary and Christ). So instead of crossing my fingers and hoping someone will buy it, this one is mine. I'm commissioning myself for a piece to go in my living room over my massive sofa. The wall space over my sofa has been a problem for the past 3 years. Art comes and goes as it displays at galleries. Half the time it's blank - which is a good thing for the art but a bad thing for my house.
When this is completed, it will be second largest Chester-themed painting I've ever done. And because I like to make lists...
Top 5 biggest paintings by Fudge:
- "Not Alone" 2010 - 8ft x 6ft (two 4ft x 6ft panels) - 48 sq ft
- “The Light Shines in the Darkness” 2009 - 3ft x 9ft
(three 3ft x 3ft panels) - 27 sq ft
- "Silent Night" 2010 - 3.5ft x 5ft - 17.5 sq ft
- “Love Is a Journey” 2012 - 2.5ft x 6.7ft (two 30"x40" panels) - 16.7 sq ft
- “Virgin Mary and Christ” 2009 - 3ft x 4ft - 12 sq ft
I'm very excited. The subject excites me. Painting in the Big house excites me. Big paintings of Chester excite me. This painting almost fills my little 10'x10' studio. Look at that photo. It's nearly wall to wall. I had to stand in the doorway to photograph it. I also had to buy a bunch of paint (lesson #2: always restock before you paint on stage).