What Love Looks Like

oil on un-stretched canvas, untitled by Victoria Accardi

My daughter spent her winter term painting this for an independent study in school. I see it as a testament to all the things she loves: art and Joseph. He was away all winter and this is how she filled the void.

I drove her to the airport to pick him up. She did not say, but maybe she would have preferred to go alone, but she can’t drive my car (standard shift) so I was the chauffeur. As we approached Bangor we saw a little pictograph of an airplane, then a sign that said exit 1b. The next exit did not say whether or not it was 1b so I passed it, her roommate’s words in my head, “Just go straight, that’s the easiest way, straight.” She tensed in the seat next to me and commented pointedly on my inability to listen to her and follow her directions. As we drove I fixed my attention on a distant tower, “must be the airport,” I assured her. Occasionally we would see another little picture of a plane which we assumed meant we were on the right track. When we had driven clear through and then outside of Bangor I realized that my airport tower was actually a cell phone tower.

At this point my daughter started tapping her foot vigorously. I turned around and found..another plane picture! “See, no problem, we are really close…” I think smoke started coming out of her ears. There ahead of us was the problem: the sign for the actual physical airport looked  like a sign for an industrial park. It may have said the word airport in tiny letters at the bottom, but for some idiotic reason they chose to embolden the airport code name BGA or BIA or something indecipherable like that instead. I was seriously put out. Don’t they have people testing road signage to see if outsiders or people with impatient daughters breathing down their necks can read them? I guess not.

To make matters worse at 10 o’clock at night the stop lights on the empty airport road were endless. All hell broke lose in the car, suddenly where there was a girl, appeared some sort of blazing maniac; I was so focused in my zen mothering mode (perfected by years of driving with wailing infants in car seats or fighting children in confined spaces) it took me a moment to realize that she was screaming at the red light while vehemently hopping about the seat. When we finally rolled in front of the arrivals and her boy was there waiting patiently on the curb, she leapt out of the car before I had even come to stop – just leapt out. Madness. Ah, love.

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5 responses to “What Love Looks Like

  1. Gorgeous. I’m glad you shot the detail of her hand nervously grasping her ankle. I was instantly drawn right there.

    The colours are vibrant like she used acrylic, and it looks like she use bot red and burnt umber in the underpainting method. Am I right?

    • The painting is done with oil, not acrylic. And as she said to me “I’m a poor student,” so was really limited to the primary colors (basic red,yellow and blue) that she then mixed herself. That and her “favorite” translucent white. Some day I’ll post some of her sculpture. she’s quite gifted, maybe gifted is not the right word, she has put in the hours….

  2. I wish I had a close up of his hand, because that was amazing as well. I’ve asked her the questions you were wondering about…

  3. wow, amazing picture! the red highlights, the skin textures, and her face is right on.

  4. Love the oil on unstreched canvas.

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