Today is St. Valentine’s Day, one day of the year when we think about that someone special, the one we hold most dear, the one we will love and cherish forever. For me, that is my beloved husband who has supported my pursuit of art from the first moment I told him that I was learning to draw.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a sonnet asking “How Do I Love Thee?” She went on to count the ways. I could repeat her words here and all would be true. I love my husband “to the depth and breadth and height” my soul can reach.
And I love him “to the depth and breadth and height” of my art studio, for his presence is here in every square inch of space around me. I could not even begin to count the many ways he’s expressed his belief in me as an artist through the things he has provided for me. Fresh white paint on the walls. Hand-built tables with wheels to move around. Display racks for my paintings. Lights. Bulletin boards. Comments on my paintings. Encouragement at every step along the way.
I would not be — could not be — the artist I am today without my husband’s love. Where I thought learning to draw was a silly idea and that I’d be destined to fail, he saw it as an exciting opportunity for me to develop new talents. Where I was reluctant to spend money on art supplies or materials, he was quick to remind me of the need for quality tools. Where I fretted over the mess I was making in our kitchen, he simply shrugged it off and assured me that my art gave our home new “character”.
Now, of course, I’m no longer painting in a corner of the kitchen. We have a lovely new home with a messy — but beautiful — art studio I can call my own. I am truly living a dream. I have the opportunity to live a creative life and to share it with the man I love.
His recent stay in the hospital made me realize more than ever how dear he is to me. Together we thank you for your well wishes, your good thoughts, and your many prayers. He is recovering here at home now, and thank goodness the situation was not as serious as I first feared.
I suppose many artists will be sharing Valentine’s cards today, lovely images of hearts and flowers, and sweet, sentimental thoughts. I’m not an especially “hearts and flowers” sort of woman. I’m just a very old-fashioned wife with a husband who shares my values. As I went searching for the perfect valentine, I skipped over the cutesy little cupids and “punny” animals with messages like “Bee My Valentine.” Sweet, sure. But not nearly expressive enough.
There really are no words I can say to fully express my love for my husband, so I chose a lovely silhouette. Later today we’ll be sharing a Valentine’s Day dessert — mixed berries with cream cheese and whipped cream — so this clip seemed perfect.
To you, it may seem that this post has little to do with art. But art is life, and life is love. When we find it, we’re fortunate indeed. So on this very special day, I want to honor this very special man, to count again all the ways I love him, and above all to thank him for all the ways he’s shown his love for me.
And for those who might like to find a “vintage Valentine” of your own, you’ll find lots of ideas at The Graphics Fairy.
Happy Valentine’s Day to All!
Wishing you great love and happiness.