Illusion of Paradise, oil on canvas 36h x 60 inches. With the last post I wrote about the enigmatic way my paintings end up with meaning and how I’m sometimes oblivious even at the end of the full meaning of the piece. With this one, it definitely evolved, but I also know it’s meaning.
This one started out with a source photo I took while in Honolulu, Hawaii on a mini-vacation. I lived there for about a year when I was in 7th grade, so it was a sort of homecoming for me. It was odd for it to still feel like home after all these years and really a small period of my childhood, but then again when I think of my childhood my year in Hawaii feels more like ten years. I think the that moment of going from being twelve to thirteen is an very impressionable time.
Needless to say, while in Hawaii in September I wanted to move back. I was filled with this sense of “why on earth wasn’t my Mom able to be happy here; it’s so wonderful?” That was while on the big Island and still how I felt the first day back on Oahu. After failed attempts of striking up conversations with a few locals though, it came back in focus how cold Hawaii was when we lived there.
One person’s paradise is another person’s hell. I can go into details, but really there’s no point.
So, back to the meaning of this painting. I allowed the background to feel a touch stormy and abstract to address how our belief or what paradise is, is actually very abstract and merely an impression. I also wanted to depict the disillusion of my perception. In Japanese woman’s face, in roughly the center, I unconsciously placed all my conflicted feelings about Hawaii. My subconscious mind at work again.
How I feel about Hawaii is simply this. It will always feel like home to me, I can and will visit it, but will never be able to call it home even though I love the islands dearly. I also realize that paradise is merely an illusion and can never be attained.