New Painting Reveal: Love! (An Explosive Sound)

To say that I’m excited about this one is an understatement. I’m so freaking excited about it!

I’ve been toiling away at this one with a rare approach to my work: only work when inspired to. This means that the timing, the external pressures, the weather, the paint supply, every single little thing had to line up for me to feel that surge of raw excitement to work on this. Even the moon had to line up with Venus AND Mars! (Kidding. I’m a little weird, but not that weird. Yet.)

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This large piece started out as something else altogether. I tried a few different paintings on the canvas, but they never went anywhere. I kept painting over top, and on the eve of Magnus’s first birthday, I was reminiscing about the last year with him. He joined the family as #2, but is a force to be reckoned with. Wild, hilarious, creative, independent, and musically driven. We spent the first two months sleepless as he screamed and it seemed that only loud renditions of Sia’s Chandelier did the trick to soothe him for short bits of time. He’s grown into this unique, incredible person, all his own.

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In an attempt to capture his vibrant, bursting personality, I had the vision for this piece. I immediately named it Love! (An Explosive Sound) to honour his energy, his vocal skills, his smile that bursts a room into laughter, and his amazing musicality. He hears any rhythm, stops what he’s doing, and breaks into dance. This piece is an Ode to Magnus. It’s a visual representation of the bursts of love that explode every time I think of him, look at him, kiss him, talk to him, see a picture of him … everything about his being, I tried to throw into this piece.

I think it’s sometimes overlooked, to put a piece of art in a child’s room that isn’t filled with cozy animals and soft tones or primary colours. Yet, I wanted to give him something special. Something he would love now, and as he grows.

And so, here are some photos of my process, and of the beautiful, wild Magnus with his original piece, created on canvas with acrylic paint (neon and metallic tones included), crayon, paper (dictionary pages and the sheet music to Mockingbird), and white charcoal pencil.

This video is from when I first started the process, after a couple of base coats.

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And then, some progress shots of the instruments:

Finally, Love! (An Explosive Sound):

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You Remind Me Of You

I was driving home tonight and had Jack Johnson on shuffle on my Apple Music stream. This song came on, and I’d never heard it before (somehow) and it seems to me like it could be the most important song for parents to hear.

The simplicity of the lyrics is the perfect metaphor for the simplicity of it all: everyone is just who they are.

We so often seek identity for our kids. We want them to be like us. We want to see ourselves in them. Strangers will comment on who they look like and so will the closest family members. “He got that from his daddy!” or “That’s you when you were little.” These are common choruses.

But the thing is … no.

He’s his own person. I am not the holder of his identity. I am not the one who decides his interests and I certainly never want to be that, either.

So here, so easily, Jack Johnson sums it up perfectly, without a single complication:

Well your mama made you pretty
And your mama made you sweet
Your daddy gave you daydreams
And more cushion in your seat
Your mama gave you those windows
To your beautiful soul
Your daddy got more love for you
Than you could ever know

You remind me of you
Yes you do now
You remind me of you
Yes you do

Music For You & The Kids – Session 3

Music For You & The Kids – Session 3 is a mellow mix of acoustic sounds. This was our soundtrack for Sunday morning, as we tinkered away baking muffins, eating the muffins, and cleaning up after the mess. It was the perfect backdrop for a rainy day.

If you want more music, check out Music For You & The Kids Session 1 and Session 2. These are curated by me, and are music my family enjoys listening to without the nasty (albeit catchy) of some of the music out there (that seems to always come up when you just hit “shuffle”!)

Enjoy, and leave me your feedback!

The Playlist:

Lennon & Maisy – Lean On (cover)

John Mayer – Daughters (live)

Karen O & The Kids – All is Love (from Where The Wild Things Are)

Arcade Fire – Wake Up

The Temptations – My Girl

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes – Lullaby

Jason Mraz – Shine (live)

Jack Johnson – I Got You

Ingrid Michaelson – You & I

Weezer – Island in the Sun

Israel “IZ” Kamikawiwo’ole – Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World