Some of you know I’ve been back in the recording studio cutting a new album, “love & blood.” The painting here, “Death by 1,000 Cuts” is the primary painting for the artwork, although the original image will be manipulated (example below).

The painting, from 2014, is acrylic, 20″ x 24. Like much of my work, no brushes were involved, just palette knives to layer, line and scrape many layers of paint.

The heart shape we’ve come to associate with love (which really doesn’t look much like a human heart at all, imho), is the stuff of valentines and Hallmark and emoticons. In becoming the universal symbol for love, it’s also become so diluted as to mean almost nothing at all. We “heart” everything.

Maybe our language and iconography could use more ways to express love.

Regardless, the heart image was the only way to express what I needed to say with this one: that love rarely suffers a death from one significant event. Rather, it suffers that death by 1,000 cuts–small affronts, half-truths, indignities, and neglect–that break down the tissue, wear it out, and finally cut to the core.

Death by 1000 Cuts
“Death by 1,000 Cuts” acrylic, 20″ x 24″

The original canvas is pretty vivid, and the heart includes a layer of gold and copper paint, over which more reds were painted and then scraped away. The addition of these metallic elements represent a kind of armor–the inherent resiliency of the heart, and its ability to withstand a great deal. Maybe that’s why it often takes us so long to realize the cuts are there, and by then, it’s often to late to do much about them.

For the album artwork, I want to alter the colors and clarity significantly, especially as I think about delivering images for the album online. Right now, this is coming much closer to the mark:

Album art idea
Album art idea for “love & blood”

Next post… recording the music for love & blood.