A painting by the artist James Foort called: Joy


Everything about this painting makes me happy. I designed and developed it in a deliberate way, without obscuring its sentimentality. I look for a similar result in other paintings I have done and in others’ paintings too. The paintings would be lessons for what I might do better, already reflected in some of my paintings. I think of what comes from deep inside us as we follow our whims.

Through the middle of the painting runs a gold tinged green river. It highlights the black figures of the man and woman. Prominent is the Bluebird of happiness reminding us of possibilities. To the lower left, is the decaying leaf to remind us of the temporary nature of reality. The fig leaf top left was propagated from a shoot on my mother’s tree. The leaf calls up the biblical prediction that every man shall sit under his own fig tree (freedom). It reminds us too, that modesty may be a quality to consider (enhancing the attraction of fantasy). The butterfly represents the persistence of events in our histories and their attending fragility from efforts made to understand them. The dragonfly warns us of predation ‐ dangers, without denying others the need to consider what we do (flexibility). We are social beings, needing each other for learning what might make it better between us. The red background highlights the figures in a way to pinpoint the vitality of redness, as in blood, basically the same in all of us, not, as some might say, a sign of how we are connected to one another.

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Works and writing by James Foort