The story behind the painting `Within a Man`s Heart

Within a Man`s Heart is a 22x30 inch magical mixed media painting on paper. Here is the story behind this lovely painting. 

It was around the time I met Jack. At the beginning of our romance.  There was so much going on. I was in an impoverished condition.  We (me and the kids) were living in an apartment on a main drag in Vancouver.  It was a walk up and we lived on the third floor.  Above us lived a very snarly prostitute who had control of the thermostat. I think she was always cold, because the apartment was always roasting hot.  Below us lived a couple who had three kids, about the ages of my children.  On Welfare Wednesday they would get rip roaring drunk and kick their kids out of the house. The song "Achy Breaky Heart" would be wailing in from the apartment below, along with the hoots and hollers of extreme drunkenness.  I would come home from work at about midnight and see the kids hanging around the fire escape near my place.  "OK guys, come on in. Have you had dinner?" At around 1:00 AM I would be feeding these children, and finding them a spot to sleep. I tell you this, because these circumstances, along with the romance that was about to begin sort of frame this painting. I saw Jack every day at work.  He was always offering to help me with this and that. I could sense he was a beautiful and warm man, and he was also concerned about my situation.  He would come by and change light bulbs and do some handy work here and there, and help me take my enormous piles of laundry to the laundry mat. He would buy paintings from me. I felt like I looked like a used dish rag most of the time. I didn't have nice clothes to wear, I was overweight, and extremely stressed.

Then along comes this beautiful man.  He eventually informed me of his intentions. That he loved me and wanted to marry me, and jump into this whole picture.  He wanted all of it. The kids, the responsibility, the bills. Wow.  I'm not sure when the exact moment was. If it was the first kiss (he had been helping me for a long time before we ever kissed) and I have to say that first kiss was pure magic. I knew when those lips touched my lips that I was going to be with this man for the rest of my life.  Yup. I think that was it.  He had asked me to marry him. I didn't answer for months. I was terrified.  I was terrified that I would make yet another mistake in the relationship department.

He had been patient, I must say.  But one evening he came over and took me for  a drive.  He pleaded his case, and well, I just had to say yes!! That's when we had that first magic kiss and I transformed into this painting. From an old dish rag to a beautiful princess. (He insists that Princess is below my status of Queen)

It was a long time still before "Within a Man's Heart" actually came into being. I had moved from my horrible apartment into a better situation.  (no bugs, no prostitutes, and no drunks) into an old bungalow in South Vancouver.   I had started painting again. Jack and  I were now together, and life was good. I was at Lonsdale Quay exhibiting my work in the Market there.  Across the way I could see my friend Patricia looking at the flowers, and smelling them. Picking them up, looking at them. And the painting, the actual image was there.  In my mind.  I was so eager to get home and paint it!! The next morning I woke up at an ungodly hour. I started working on it.  I stayed on it for a week.  I hardly ate, was annoyed when I had to pee, because I had to stop painting to do that, and Angela and Jack took care of the baby's  needs while I worked.


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