"Robustly Vulnerable" - charcoal and acrylic on Arches 300 lb watercolor paper, 22" x 30". Sold.
In love we subvert the everyday structures of the life we had built so carefully and raze them to foundations on which a new, shared life can be built again. Unrequited love has its own form of fearful falling, but falling into a full felt and reciprocated love we face the most difficult, most revealing and most beautiful questions of all: are we large enough and generous enough and present enough; are we deserving enough, and ready enough and robustly vulnerable enough, to hold the joy, the future grief, and the overwhelming sense of privileged blessing that lies in that embrace? - DAVID WHYTE
I spend a lot of time contemplating vulnerability and its exquisiteness in relationships. The moments I remember most in life are almost inevitably those when the inner self (my self, yourself, himself, herself) spills over and transforms the outer - with a touch, with a smile, with tears or becoming overwhelmed, undone, melted - and few people can describe the depth of that moment better than David Whyte. This quote left me quite overwhelmed. The idea of robust vulnerability - oh.
This painting came about just before reading the quote. I love when the universe does that - provides the words to describe what the paint revealed.
About the art: beginning with a three minute gesture drawing in brown charcoal, then coming in with a wet brush and some titanium white acrylic paint to start forming the shadows and layers. Resisting the urge to over-work the face and form - painting in from the outside to refine angles and shapes. Liberal use of the water sprayer to provide texture. Using the squeegee to drag the paint and blur harsh lines. Walking away while some of the paper and charcoal are still showing. Always chasing the elusive place where emotion and realism are just palpable on the edge of abstraction.