A gigantic package arrived this week, and the world's most amazing birthday gift has made its debut on the Southside of Chicago. No matter how well I try to photograph this thing, the images will never quite do it justice. Still, I wanted to try to share it with the rest of the world because keeping it on a wall in here seems like it would somehow be an injustice.
The painting was done by Minnesota artist Scott West. He painted it after reading the manuscript for my forthcoming novel, The Last Good Halloween. For me, hearing about the inspiration for a piece of art is almost as important as the art itself, so I was curious to hear what he had to say about this piece. Here's the note he sent me:
"This painting was very different for me... usually my compositions are cluttered and busy and overbearing with color. The void was important. Knowing Izzy through your writing I felt an absence in her character, almost a separation from her surroundings because she knew she would one day leave. She became a metaphor for the connection we all have with loved ones that all too often leave our immediate life. They gift us life lessons for our future relationships and the strength to understand reasons why they leave. This is why I chose to paint just Izzy. She was the underlying current of the story for me. Thanks again for the opportunity and for sharing your wonderful work."
Obviously, I was touched and moved by his thought and sensitivity in the way he treated my characters. It's strange, I was pretty nervous to see what he'd come up with because it felt like some kind of judgment on these characters I'd come to know and love. In the end, I couldn't be happier with the result.