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Monday, May 30, 2016

Home At Last... Telling a Story Through Art

soldiers boots
Home At Last   12 x 12 acrylic 

The thought is not lost on me that there are many, many soldier boots that will not be taken off by the door anymore after a deployment. For those that have given the ultimate sacrifice, we are forever indebted to you and your families.

For those soldiers that are 'home at last',  safe and secure with your loved ones...we are beyond grateful for your service so that we may enjoy the freedoms we are so blessed to have in this country.  Your service and lives do matter.

You are home.  Your work is done for now.  

We know you've seen more than we can ever imagine.

Your boots symbolize the miles you've marched.

The terrain you have journeyed.

The encounters you've faced fearlessly.

The boots carried you from home to a world we can only imagine you've seen.

Your boots taken off by the door mean more than just an article of clothing strewn about the house.

It means, you are "Home At Last"....and for that, we are forever grateful.

Your family and friends
And those of us who you have not met, but who know you because of the service you have selflessly given us so that we can live in freedom today.

Today and always We Remember.
Happy Memorial Day.


I was asked to do an original art work for an event that would be attended by many military members and benefit the NC Defense Business Association , I was a little intimidated since my art isn't necessarily masculine or  that which is generally sought after by those in the military or former military.  My abstracts maybe but but more than likely the funky houses or quirky birds wouldn't go over well for this particular event. 

 What to do..what to do.....I thought of doing and abstract flag but one of my friends who is a military wife mentioned that  is something that may not be that original as most families have lots of flags or flag related art proudly displayed....okay so I dug a little deeper and I thought about doing a flag but having boots in the picture....not sure how it was going to be composed or where I was going to find a pair of boots to replicate but the idea of a red, white and blue composition with a pair of boots stuck in my mind.

I searched the internet for dessert boots worn by soldiers and found lots of new boots, but I wanted a pair of worn boots and just wasn't finding what I needed to draw out this piece that was in my head.

I wanted to evoke a sense of emotion in the history of the soldiers gear--shoes that carried them many miles around the world and back.

It was getting close to the deadline for this project, so I asked for help via Facebook and some of my artsy friends who have loved ones in the military answered my  plea so generously.  There were several options for this project shared, all wonderful and touching...beyond touching that my friends would share such personal photos. 

I decided to combine a few photos that worked within my original idea with a few changes. The photos all could be paintings in and of themselves truly.   

I took some artistic liberties so I could incorporate my red, white and blue theme to symbolize our in the rug, white in the door, and blue in the window behind the boots and then added yellow/gold curtains to symbolize those that would not be coming home any longer (Gold Star families).

So no...this is not art that I normally paint and I'm probably not the best illustrator of realistic imagery...but I hope that as an artist, you can see what I was trying to communicate in this piece--what may on the outside seem a mundane part of our every day life (taking off our shoes and leaving them by the door after a long days work), it means so much more.

Those boots by the door means that our brother, sister, son, daughter, husband, wife, friend, and neighbor is  "Home At Last".


Loretta Kasper said...

WOW, Just Wow! A beautiful piece of art, and a wonderfully written story of its creation.

Caroline D. said...

WOW!! This will be a hit at the event auction, as it is truly magnificent. Please include a copy of your write-up/blog post with the painting because I think whomever ends up with this will also cherish your heartfelt words.

Willow said...

Thank you from a gold star mother

Jodi Ohl said...

Willow---your photo submitted reminded me to incorporate a element that symbolized that ultimate sacrifice your son and many others gave. Love to you.

Caroline--great idea, I will definitely do that! Thank you for all your support and encouragement!

Loretta, thank you for always being so encouraging no matter what I do. I truly am grateful xoxo

Sallianne McClelland said...

Magnificent my friend. Simply magnificent.

Denise Spillane said...

Beautiful Jodi. See you in June at Create.

Gail Klein said...

What a beautiful and touching piece of art! You do our amazing troops proud!