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The story behind "Norwegian"

I met Morten Buljo, a Norwegian photographer, in Montreal in 2016, at a festival and we kept in touch. http://mortenbuljo.com/

A lovely man and this is one of three of his photos that I drew inspiration from. Below is one of the other photos from Morten that came to me as B&W and I was blown away with the finite lines and composition and I said how can I incorporate subtle colour to this?

I am forever looking to challenge myself with every single painting. When I saw the Norwegian, his eyes were speaking to me with age old kindness, challenge and a lifetime of unconventionality and no compromise to current society norms and opinions.

Be yourself he was saying to me.

I embarked on my biggest technical challenge, to tame this free flowing encaustic hot wax with a mind of it's own, against rigid oil and can I match the two colours in harmonious balance. Can I make abstract and realistic with two mediums on one canvas? The planning that went into this was monumental and constantly changing and I loved every minute of it as I gritted my teeth and scratch off what didn't work and reworked it until I was satisfied.

The whole while his wise eyes looked at me and spoke the words I needed to hear. So many conversations went on between us.

I am hard and judgmental on myself and that is why I evolve and I accept that as part of my process. Normally I finish a painting and it takes me a year to forgive my failings and so I have trouble looking at it.

This is the first painting ever that I am completely satisfied and I absolutely love it and don't care if anyone else does. It is magnificent and that is not ego talking. Encaustic is a new frontier and most of those peers don't grasp what I am doing. Oil painters don't get me either, so I am in this WTF zone and I accept that. Peace is in acceptance of self and like the "Norwegian" was showing me, no compromise.

The journey with my "Norwegian" was cathartic and I can't wait to see what else comes out of me.

Peace to you all for being you.


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