All that remains is Love. Oil and Acrylic painting. Painting by Mike Heseltine

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All that remains is Love. Oil and Acrylic painting.

Mike Heseltine

United Kingdom

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About The Artwork

There is a tomb in Chichester Cathedral called the Arundel Tomb. It shows a powerful and influential couple from 700 years ago, but their faces have faded with time and their achievements forgotten. Then one notices that the Knight has removed his glove and is tenderly holding his wife's hand. All that now represents this couple is their love. Perhaps love is all that connects us and is all that remains after us? This was the subject of a Philip Larkin poem and part of the inspiration of this drawing. I wanted to keep faithful to Larkin's poem so included references to the people moving past the tomb over the centuries, the sun streaming in through the window and the birds. I have added the idea of the couple moving towards the light. The circle of light contains nothing, like the figures, which is reflecting the Buddhist concept of 'nothingness'. When we die, we lose all attachments including the idea of self and thought. Everything we did, good or bad, will be forgotten as it is impermanent. We no longer exists as an individual. But when one lets go of the 'self' and all our worldly attachments, we return to the state where only love remains. We do this at death, but we can also do it now. My influences are Fauvism and Expressionism, including artists such as Edvard Munch, Kandinsky, Egon Schiele and Henri Matisse. In this painting I was influenced by the colouring of Marc Chagall and the drawing of Raoul Dufy. I enjoy doing religious paintings, especially if they are connected to Buddhist Dharma.

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Print:Giclee on Fine Art Paper

Size:10 W x 8 H x 0.1 D in


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Living in Scotland and interested in producing works that speak back to me during their creation. I enjoy making unpremeditated marks and letting them introduce new lines of thoughts. I believe that if I maintain an integrity in this process, without diverting into 'picture making' or being concerned about any finished product, then the image will inherit a special quality, making it a catalyst for thoughts for other viewers. I used to paint large oil paintings but decided to simplify the process in order to concentrate on the subject matter. I tend to start with a single thought, often from a zen buddhist quote, koan or from the Dharma. I contemplate how this thought relates to me and something in my life, and then start drawing. I like loosing control of the pencil, or allowing it to become blunt and thus uncontrolled marks. This process of being very focused on my thoughts but allowing the drawing to be slightly out of control, presents the new lines of thoughts that I find so interesting. For instance, I did a series of drawings on paper depicting the moment I let go of the rope between my small boat and the mooring buoy. This moment never ceases to fill me with both joy and trepidation. In exploring the ideas with ink and pencil on paper, drawing with little attention to the actual lines on the paper, I suddenly realised that the boat I had roughly drawn resembled a coffin. A slightly morbid observation, but it introduced many new and unexpected images and ideas of 'letting go' and the journey we are on in life and death. This is why I now draw with just charcoal, pencil, graphite or ink on paper. There is a spontaneity and freedom which is born from the these materials, rather than using big canvases or more elaborate techniques. For me, this freedom generates the means to create images that have nothing to do with creating art and more about creating thoughts.