When we think about art, we typically think about it from a purely technical perspective – the combination of color, line, texture and shape to tell a story. But we don’t think as much about the power of art to uplift the soul, about the power of art to care for others and to celebrate the lives of those we care about deeply, passionately and eternally.
Within any artist, there is the intense need to nurture and care for others. And they express this using paint and canvas. You can see this in the artwork of Floy Ealy Edjole, who used many of her paintings to confront the intense feelings inside of her as a result of the illness and death of her mother. Painting became a cathartic experience, a way to release all the emotions inside of her to the canvas and show how much she cared for her mother.
For example, take a closer look at “Blue” from Floy Ealy Edjole. “Blue” is a painting that expresses the confusion and denial surrounding her mom’s illness. “Many emotions are within and the lines, splatter paint, and blending the colors into brown and orange was mom’s fragile body and me finding the right words to encourage her,” she says. “The layers of paints are my inner struggle and having the “Blues” daily. The joy within reminded me to embrace and cherish her remaining days.”
Or, consider “Cross,” a painting that also holds deep emotional value for Floy Ealy Edjole. In “Cross,” she blends blues and white to create a calm and peaceful feeling. It’ is almost like looking at images of clouds and experiencing the peaceful serenity that was so important to her mother.
Then, there’s “Fear,” where the blending of colors represents the subdued and sad emotions the artist felt when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Here, the pink swirl is cancer spreading throughout her body.
Finally, there’s “Energy,” where the gray represents the loss of her mother while the lines and the patch of white and purple are testimony to the artist’s spirit and stability within. The yellow lines emanate joy and happiness.
In this series of paintings, we can see the full range of emotions experienced by Floy Ealy Edjole – confusion, pain, loss and then acceptance of this loss. It is the story of the artist as caregiver, an important motif that appears throughout Floy Ealy Edjole’s paintings.
What makes abstract art so interesting is that the full story and narrative of this “sharing is caring” motif is sometimes not obviously visible. It exists, but is somehow abstracted. Yet, the motifs are there if you look closely enough. The signs are everywhere, hiding in plain sight. You just need to be able to decode the secrets that will be passed down for all eternity.
Ultimately, painting becomes the ultimate monument and shrine for a loved one, a way to celebrate the life of someone important for eternity. Look closer at any painting, and you will see the use of color, line, and texture. But stand back a few steps and you will see that sharing really is caring – sharing this artwork with the world really is about caring for someone who matters so much.