"Beloved Melina and Her Angel Friend Observe the Wonders of the Night Together"
"Beloved Melina and Her Angel Friend Observe
the Wonders of Night Together"
watercolour, gouache, ink
approx. 20 x 24 inches
This painting is about you. Before beginning this painting, I came to your house to do many prepatory drawings of you, your toys, and your bedroom. As I worked on the painting, I wove several of these images into the painting because I felt it was important to make the painting very personal to you at this very time in your childhood. My wish is that the painting delights you now and that it will also speak to you as you grow up. If there is a message in the painting it is that childhood is a time of uncomplicated connection to the divine. And, may we all receive the blessing to remember that connection all the days of our lives. With Love, Alanna"
The Wonders of the Past Give Strength to the Future
The Wonders of the Past Give Strength to the Future
Size: Approx. 24 x 20 inches Medium: Watercolour, Gouache, Graphite, 23kt Gold Leaf
This is a commission I did for a client in Turkey.
She asked me to do a painting for, and about, her son, Ahmet Emre.
The first step when doing a commission like this is to interview the person the painting i
is about. So, after doing an in depth interview with Ahmet Emre, I had the answers to many
questions that enabled me to weave the many threads of interest, that are particular to
him, into this artwork. I also did drawings of Ahmet Emre. As I worked, I referred to these.
drawings often, since I wanted the figure in the painting to strongly resemble him.
With this commission, I included a letter that explained the details of the painting. Sinem
appreciated this letter very much, so I wrote it out in ink on the same type of watercolour
paper on which I did the painting. Sinem framed the painting and the letter in the very same
fashion. Now, both hang side by side on her wall. Here is the letter for you to read.
Here is your painting! I hope very much that it speaks to you.
There's a lot to say about this painting. I will start with the elements that are based
on the interview I did with you.
The predominant colour is yellow, your favourite colour.
One of your interests is baking, and especially decorating cakes and pastries, so I
decided to make this your focal activity in the painting. All colour appears to flow from
the icing bag; this signifies that you are the ultimate creator of your own life.
The surreal utensils on the wall are enacting a fight scene reminiscent of one you
might find in the action comics that you enjoy reading.
You prefer the night and therefore I placed the moon inside the picture frame, or, is it a
window? I planned that it could be seen as either one. As a picture frame it symbolizes
your love of drawing and as a window it holds the moon and the mysterious night.
The hands of the clock are set at 1 and 7, your favourite numbers for reasons
only known to yourself.
The cityscape on the tablecloth represents NYC, the city you hope one day to visit.
The fish speak of your enjoyment of swimming.
The yellow flowers on the tablecloth symbolize the summertime, your favourite season.
Your mom says you are very loving and that's what the Heart of Gold signifies.
As you recall, I asked you what object most reminds you of your mom. I wanted to put
something of your mom in the painting because she commissioned me to do this piece
of art for you. You said your mom's pillow is the object that most reminds you of her. And,
so, I have you sleeping with your head on her pillow, keeping her close when she's out of
town with her work, which is something you like to do.
Because dogs are your favourite animal, I put in two. Dogs are so loving. It is said that
it is not an accident that if you spell 'dog' backwards, it spells "god". Dogs are
truly godly in the way they love us.
Next, I'll explain the other meanings woven into this painting. As you see, there is a
bottle of Sweetlife Caramel Sauce lying on its side with the contents spilling out.
However, the little river of caramel is falling into the Turkish coffee cup balanced
on the dog's head, not one drop is lost. This signifies that, although life naturally
has its ups and downs, it is important
to cherish every drop of sweetness that comes your way.
Now, I'll talk about the title. The Wonders of the Past Give Strength to the Future
means that although we sometimes think, as we grow up, that the fanciful thoughts
we have as children should be discarded, it is actually those amazing, wise and
wondrous thoughts that give motivation, meaning and inspiration to our adult lives.
You are 12 years old now and soon you will be a teenager and then a young man
embarking on your own life full of adventures. Your treasures are inside of you,
gathered from the day you were born.These internal treasures, only some of
which are symbolized in the painting, will give your life unimagined richness.
This richness will assist you in attaining an existence that is meaningful to you
and highly charged with life force.
Paintings are interesting in that some aspects of a work can be put into
words and other aspects are wordless and can only be felt. This painting
is no exception.
My hope is that, as you look at this painting over time, you will discover
all the meanings this painting has for you personally.