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Empathy & A Beautiful Soul

Updated: Jun 11, 2022

Empathy by definition is “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another”. Using this in relation to my painting means that instead of deciding what the physical properties of a painting like color, medium or subject matter should be I instead focus, almost in a meditative state, on another person’s energy while i’m creating and let that energy guide my choices. I make my decisions on what colors to use, what types of lines or strokes to make & when to stop painting all based on what feels in harmony with the energetic space i’m in. Then i step back and see what I’ve been given.

On Aug 20, 2019, I finished this project shown above. I call it “A beautiful Soul”. It’s 12x36 inches & Acrylic on Canvas. Before starting this painting I had just finished a piece called the Mad Hatter with a kind of darker energy. So this time i wanted to channel a happier energy. So I found my subject online instead of chasing down a real person in case this didn't work out so well. His name is Donald Gould & I remember recently seeing his viral video online. Watch it here. It told the story of him falling on hard times and in turn becoming homeless. During this time he would go to a local shop that had a piano outside for the public to play. The viral video shows him, dirty, homeless & showing off his incredible piano playing skills in hopes of getting some tips from passers-by. The somg was absolutley beauyiful! I watched his video on loop the whole time I did my painting, again, unaware of what the result would be. After stepping back from the canvas and studying what i had done in relation to Davids story I made the connection. It came through a fun fact i had heard a few years back. Did you know it’s physically impossible for a butterfly to see it’s own wings? I pondered on this a while and decided that people must be kind of like that too. That is what this painting represents…. all the truly magnificent souls that are sad because they cant see their own beauty. The unicorn is known throughout the world as being a creature of magnificent beauty and magic. This represents the same beauty and magic in David Gould’s soul expression relayed though his piano music. Although it’s clearly not perfect.. It has sad eyes because like the butterflies and most humans, he can’t see his own beauty…. even if the rest of us can. The unicorns tail is a little matted, not perfectly floating in the breeze like most art would depict and parts are brown, maybe a little dirty. But that doesn't shadow what a majestic being it is…. kind of like David is in his video. He’s a little dirty too but no one watching is focused on that. They are focused on the magic.

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