Unrequited: (adjective) 1. Not reciprocated. Not felt in response, or not returned in the same way or to the same degree.
This painting is the first in a series of 3. The dress features clippings of the unread letters mentioned here.
If you have a moment, the following will guide you, the viewer, through some of the symbolisms of the painting:
The ferris wheel, a repeating symbol, represents the situations we often get ourselves into, that go nowhere. A continual circle, containing us, in which we think that something will suddenly change. The only change, in fact, is to get off of the ride, and walk away.
The image in the stained glass represents St. Rita, the patron saint of the impossible dream. I, personally, do not my place faith in saints, but find the stories of saints, and what they represent, and why, rather poetic, even romantic, in an old-world sense. I searched for a saint that would signify dreams and hopes. I chose Rita, a woman who overcame obstacles in her life. I also love the art of stained glass and desired to incorporate it into this piece. ‘St. Rita’s Window’ is unique in the approach I took. If you look closely, behind the window, is a complete scene of a city. I first painted a cityscape, then covered it with layers of paint, and topped it with the “window.” I felt that it added an additional dimension to the piece, and representing the fact that the world can await one, if we are willing to look beyond what we see. Additionally, once the image of St. Rita was completed, I did a paint wash over her in white, and darkened the edges with ink, to give her the overall appearance of stained glass. Finally, I used a gel medium to create very small strokes and peaks, and topped it off with flaked mica, which reflects the light beautifully.
The symbolism of the bird will also be a repeating theme. Birds have a special place in my heart, as a reminder of God’s grace and care in our lives, and freedom, and joy. That joy can sometimes be hidden in the midst of sorrow. As the series progresses, the bird will begin to take flight. It is first seen in ‘Unrequited’ as a small advertisement, a bird in a cage, for sale.
Behind her is a collage, created from images I have found and collected. I love the vintage images, and how they represent groupings of lovely pictures, advertisements, and tokens of beauty.
Her dress is adorned with roses, created from the letters. To cut the first letter was akin to cutting my heart, a little bit. And yet, it was the most exciting part of the painting. A true symbol of letting go. And finding peace. Also on her dress, I have added swaravski crystal elements, for extra sparkle. The flower in her hair is adorned with ‘micro-beads.’
It may be prideful to share this, but I love this piece. My soul always gets poured into my works, but this one speaks to me. I haven’t just put my heart and soul into it, I’ve allowed it to tell its own story, and that’s what makes this painting stand apart from the rest.
I’ve begun the second in the series, ‘Unrelenting’. Ultimately, the 3 paintings will journey their viewers through the stages of heartache (or at least what I’ve felt). We start here, unrequited. We try to believe that we can change the outcome of Providence, unrelenting in our fight to do so. And we finally begin to let go, and be at peace, understanding.
My brain has been spinning with lots of new ideas for paintings when these 3 are completed. I am looking forward to sharing them with you as they unfold!
P.S. Here's a look at the work as it progressed!