Joy is usually something that eludes me. For much of the past four years, I’ve been aware of nothing so much as its absence. So when it does take me by surprise, as it did earlier this evening, it’s something I try to hold onto – even though I know that’s a sure way to lose it. This painting, a sketch for a larger work, grew out of this one, which I painted for the Lawyers Against Abuse blog. I loved the unexpected pleasure of splashes of pink and orange on a dark background so much, I wanted to capture that feeling again.
The text reads: “An entirely irrational narrative of ridiculous joy, making no sense whatsoever. Because joy is not rational, it just is.”
Influences? Probably a little bit of Chagall. The flying rhino is an image that lodged in my mind after seeing a tweet by @MinorMatters about a new Beezy Bailey exhibition at Circa Gallery. I usually paint white rhino because I’ve seen them in the wild, but this is a black rhino, which is rounder and less awkward than its larger cousin.