Is love actually patient?
Is love an endurance of patience?
If it is almost impossible to agree on a single definition of love and if patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious, this becomes a contradiction. Trying to seek a reasonable understanding which is relevant to myself, is a journey within itself. At times these challenges become themes within my artworks or or become a complete artwork.
Love has been a favoured topic of philosophers, poets, writers, and scientists for generations, and different people and groups have often fought about its definition.
Love is a complex set of behaviours, and beliefs associated with strong feelings of affection, protectiveness, warmth, and respect for another person. Love can also be applied to, non-humans such as animals, to principles, and to religious beliefs. For example, a person might say he or she loves his or her dog, loves freedom, or loves God.
While most people agree that love implies strong feelings of affection, there are many disagreements about its precise meaning, and one person’s “I LOVE YOU” might mean something quite different than that of another person.
Dorothy Richardson quoted, “Life is creation – self and circumstances, the raw material.” There could not be a more honest definition for the inspiration behind my artworks, which more often than not are visual interpretations of personal thoughts.
The adversities, the troubles and obstacles throughout my life, have come to strengthen me, usually in reflection than during the process. It’s these struggles that I have faced in life, that enable the thoughts that bring creativity and produce illustrated artwork as an outlet. Often serving as a reminder of perseverance and persistence.
During 2017, I went through a range of emotional experiences, such as, separation anxiety, a chronic illness, and a re-occurring back injury, causing financial stress, leading to procrastination mainly due to a fear of failure. I withdrew from the majory of regular activities, in solitude, questioning my self worth and the future.
One afternoon, while alone, feeling sorry for myself, just like a sudden flash of lightning I had the urge to begin drawing again. I found myself starting to visualise strong creative ideas and images.
This situation and current circumstances had finally reached a turning point, where I could either continue to self-loathe or become motivated to seek change, putting these thoughts and ideas on paper.
The long distance relationship, with a beautiful Kenyan woman, located in Dubai, became a major focus in my life. The painful process of travelling, waiting and wanting to be together, heightened by government bureaucracy, finances and judgement, sometimes by people close to us. The situation evoked a roller coaster of many emotions, far beyond the euphoria of love. There were moments of ecstasy, compassion, surprise, anxiety, anger, jealousy, and despair, tightly held to the heartfelt love I desired for this wonderful person.
I had come to the realisation that my own heart was in a battle. The want of being together with my sweetheart against the need to fight the anguish resonating inside of me. I needed to stave off the rising anger, come to accept that I could not control the present situation, find solutions to be patient during these challenging circumstances.
We cannot be rattled by the ups and downs of life. We are not to be altered by the circumstances beyond our control. Having an unconditional relationship means that we will continue to respect and support each other, regardless of what situations are thrown upon us.
This sounds so perfect, far easier said than done. How do I walk the walk, not just talk the talk? How can I be patiently willing to respect and accept whatever comes my way with unconditional love?
Sunshine Coast author Nikki Rowe, quoted “Art is my cure to all this madness, sadness and loss of belonging in the world & through it I'll walk myself home.” These words resonated within me, being exactly what I was required to hear, at the appropriate moment. I needed to utilise the creative process of drawing to arouse a healing process. Being an artist, you are a healer; a wordless trust of the same mystery that is the foundation of your work and its integrity.
It was also important to create something very personal, being a constant daily reminder, that Love is Patient and my need to embrace that patience while waiting for an unknown period to see my sweetheart.
The LOVE lettering was inspired by the Repoussé embossing technique used to raise ornaments in relief from the reverse side, to give the appearance of a 3 dimensional vintage sign.
Typography for the word Patient was styled from a computer font, that I had used for some other projects, hand drawn, with added outlines, fills and drop shadow.
A detailed anatomical heart to symbolise love, was illustrated using vintage anatomy images as a reference.
A skeleton hand, symbolising patience (or on this case, a very long wait) was drawn to appear as my hand holding the heart in unconditional love patiently.
In December 2018, I embarked on a journey to Africa, namely Kenya, in which I proposed to the woman I had grown to love. YES, I asked my Sweetheart to marry me in the company of her entire family during their Christmas celebrations.
My itinery consisted of arriving in Nairobi, travelling to numerous small villages across the Rift Valley, to the savanna plains of Maasai Mara, then heading east to the tropical beaches south of Mombassa. Everywhere I travelled, I was met with the vibrant colours of the people with huge friendly smiles, which contrast incredibly with the natural earthy tones of the landscape. Of the many photos taken, black and white could not do justice to the beauty I constantly witnessed.
Returning to Australia, a revived passion for colour was ignited, I completed several graphite drawings, that were in progress. With new material, I became inspired to experiment with a variety of markers, pencils and watercolour, developing techniques, striving for more intense detail, but using colour.
This rekindled desire to draw enabled me to illustrate new subjects such as Australian wildlife, tropical fauna and at times combining them with my usual themes of bones, skulls and cars, as well as the love for typography and hand drawn lettering.
My beautiful lady was able to come to Australia for a 12 week period late 2019. This was the main source of inspiration to reproduce the Love is Patient artwork in colour (black and white, did not do it justice). Our discussions, often til late in the night, involved reflecting back on the history of our relationship, the awesome times spent together, the difficult times, the frustrating times. With that said we were also able to physically look into each others eyes, sharing the simple everyday things. This was a defining reminder that Love is the definition of patience, especially if you’re both willing to endure and be resilient during the hard times as well as the good.
If one person is inspired by my personal and creative journey, that is important enough to justify the amount of time and effort to create this artwork. I personally wish to thank you for taking the time to appreciate the insight behind this artwork. Being able to see things from a different perspective, that of the artist. If you’re feeling that you need a reminder while enduring hardship or want to share your feelings with a loved one, there is a Love is Patient Poster available for purchase.
Feel free to contact Me by email or a message if you wish to talk to discuss anything.
Mark Geltch is a published, Artist | Illustrator | Designer, offering hand drawn illustration and digital design solutions for individuals, businesses and companies.
To discuss artwork commissions or your design requirements, don't hesitate to Contact.