This little painting was made on a cigar box over the last month here in Ottawa. I have been apart from my lover and her from I. She has been on my heart, just as I have been on hers. And on both our minds have been on our dream. It is balanced and united in such a way that I couldn't help but think of the Yin and Yang symbol-- which of course has to do with male and female energy. This little creation is a reflection of this.
But why a cigar box?
About a month ago our neighbour here in Ottawa, introduced me to an old friend of his-- one of Canada's great art collectors. We were invited over to his home for a glass of wine. Claude, the collector, has gotten to know personally many of the great Canadian artists over the last 30 years, ushered us into his apartment. The place was FULL of art! I have never seen such an amazing living room! Bronze scultures, paintings, hangings, iron modern geometric thingies, figures and more. Every table had at least four or five sculptures on it, and every wall as many paintings.
On three large walls however, were the cigar boxes. Special shelves had been built to showcase dozens and dozens of them.
Thirty years ago, Claude began a crazy idea. He has asked his artist friends to paint cigar boxes for him. It is a brilliant idea, and he has a brilliant collection. He has over two hundred boxes in his collection going back three decades. Immediately when I met him, it was clear that this guy was a true supporter of the arts-- that is, artists. As opposed to some big-wig collector only in it for the investment, all the art scattered through his home had a story about a friend behind it-- artists that he had supported and encouraged in their craft in his galleries and through his collecting.
The collection has already been shown as an exhibition in itself. Apparently it goes on display at Canada Museum of Civilizations next year. And, he asked me to do one... and I leapt at the opportunity!
The idea of a simple scene came right to mind. As I worked, and with Abby on my mind, this is what evolved.