Valentine’s Day and the Heart Motif

Purple passion in fabric collage, Karen Gillis Taylor

Purple passion in fabric collage, Karen Gillis Taylor

I posted a few days ago about how this simple shape of the heart has made a difference in a certain symbolic way in my life. It translates to LOVE, pure and simple, for so many of us. Doesn’t have to be boring or predictable if you want to find it in your creative world, in fact, we need to find ways to bring this loved icon into a fresh image if the icon is meaningful to us. And it SO is. How to express the love icon with a twist? Here’s some ways I’ve interpreted it in the past…

Cubist Heart Garden, watercolor and digital printmaking, Karen Gillis Taylor

Cubist Heart Garden, watercolor and digital printmaking, Karen Gillis Taylor

Shapes in a landscape. In an imagined landscape at night. This one makes me happy.

Lovers Moon, acrylic, KGTaylo

Lovers Moon, acrylic, KGTaylor

When I opened my gallery in Niwot this painting was swept up by a kind woman named Paula who also found 2 others she liked, and so it was hers. Wish I could go back and ask her why she liked these paintings so much.

"Joy", acrylic, Karen Gillis Taylor, sold

“Joy”, acrylic, Karen Gillis Taylor, sold

“Joy” was one of my favorite heart paintings.

"Torrent", acrylic, Karen Gillis Taylor

“Torrent”, acrylic, Karen Gillis Taylor

I began to see that there can be a certain energy of movement around shapes, and most definitely iconic shapes like the hearts. Keep looking for interesting ways to make this shape come alive, I say to myself.

Katies Loovre, acrylic on canvas with digital imprinting by Karen Gillis Taylor

Katies Loovre, acrylic on canvas with digital imprinting by Karen Gillis Taylor

One of my favorite things in life is to write, and collect quotes and poems. I know my Grandma Kay had the same love she passed on to me. Do we have the love of poetry in our genes? Or do we want to be the kind of person we knew our Grandma loved in her life? Maybe it’s a little of both.

There is a wonderful quote in this print I made called Katie’s Loovre. It is from Robert Henri, American painter and teacher of art who has works in Colorado and New Mexico museums. He said, “The object is not to make art but to be in the wonderful state which makes art inevitable.”

Now we are getting into the real nitty gritty. This is coming from the real painter talking to the art students among us, myself included, because I say, like my Grandpa Bruce said, “I am a perpetual student.”

I want to make real art that is inevitable, and make it when I am in that creative state Henri described. If I can express this iconic heart shape into something we might call art, well, I frankly think it is a big challenge. Doesn’t stop me, however, she said, smiling.

You see, I love design, and shapes. Nature is full of shapes that look like the heart shape. So we have an endless store of nature’s ideas to interpret and make into something we find fascinating. Stick close to nature and we might find ourselves in that state where “art is inevitable” as Henri said.

Big questions here.

As an artist, can I translate this iconic heart shape into a visual painting that I think others might find meaningful in our world of art lovers? Is the heart shape ruined by commercial products everywhere or can it become fresh again in a new way?

I’d love to hear your thoughts…

-Karen

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5 Responses to “Valentine’s Day and the Heart Motif”

  1. Leslie Ann Clark Says:

    Interesting…. The heart is commercial as times, but it is also so meaningful. It’s almost like it cannot be snuffed out or over used. We always come back to it. I use it over and over in emails and cards and notes…I love the heart! <3. I also love your heart paintings! ❤ ❤ ❤ !

    Like

  2. nsturgill Says:

    Love your use of color!

    Like

  3. annbibbi Says:

    Beautiful work!

    Like

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