Painting by Jackie Traverse
The series I painted is based on the seven teachings. I chose to use my ex boyfriends and life experiences as inspiration for the works. It all started with a conversation I had with my cousin who has never been lucky in love. She always seemed to attract losers. She was in the middle of telling me about her latest boyfriend whom she recently met at a bar here in Winnipeg when she stopped to tell me about a dream she had.
In the dream she saw two eagles flying in the sky; in a circle a small eagle was in the center and a larger eagle was on the outside. In her dream she was amazed and in awe of how beautiful these eagles were when all of a sudden the big eagle swooped down and scratched her eyeballs out and carried them away. We laughed and then she continued to tell me about her boyfriend, who didn't sound any good to me.
I thought about it then, how the eagle represents love in the teachings. It was obvious she was looking for love in all the wrong places. This is where I got the inspiration for my series. I still had six more to go when I met with the group (the other three contributing local artists to Frontrunners, Lita Fontaine, Darryl Nepinak and Louis Ogemah) and told them my idea, and the more I spoke of it the more ideas I got.
The last painting in the series I did was courage; I had a hard time with this painting. I remembered what a good friend told me years ago when I was just beginning my career as an artist. He said to always work from my heart, and so I did.
In this painting you see a man coming home broke, with hickies , a whiskey nose and he is surrounded by his demons. He is about to be slapped by his wife who is carrying a baby and two little ones are standing with her; the children's tummies are empty. One child is seated on the floor and is curious about the demons on his father, and wondering if maybe he will one day follow his fathers' footsteps?
Sunday morning Melvin had the courage to come home is how I titled this piece. I think it takes more courage to be a father, a good husband, a good provider etc. What I depicted is really the opposite of courage. I painted courage and truth in a style resembling Norval Morriseau combined with my own style.
The other five paintings are done in my own style but with the thick black line that Woodlands art is known for. I grew up in the north end of Winnipeg, and the series of paintings will surely reflect that. The scenarios that are played out on the canvas are sure to remind people of someone they know, a friend, a cousin, an ex and so on. I hope the work will bring a smile to viewers' faces.