"You made flowers that only bloom in the dark (2012 - 2021)" // Original canvas painting, 24"x48"
Title: "You made flowers that only bloom in the dark (2012 - 2021)" (2015 - 2023)
Medium: Acrylic ink, marble dust, acrylic, crushed metal, crushed pyrite, gold foil, mica powder, and powdered pigments on canvas
This is a very personal painting. But I'm wondering if there might be threads of resonance with a beautiful soul out there. And if there are, maybe it might bring you some joy and encouragement.
I've been working on this canvas since the early days of my studio practice. It has gotten layers throughout the years. It started as a frenetic bouquet of peony-like flowers, decaying and dropping petals. I only have a handful of works like this that have evolved with me as I have remained faithful in making things with my hands over the past eight+ years.
In the early days of my studio, my desire to read and research was already a part of my practice. I gobbled up nonfiction, poetry, and listened to music in the studio every day. I listened to sermons and podcasts and most of my thoughts were occupied with visually processing all of this inspiration. But the most formational place for me was in my faith. Mumbled prayers, holy tears, and the study of scripture. How I longed to be made new, and to see the brokenness around and within me redeemed. At the time, my church felt like a lightning rod for the Holy Spirit, a place where I walked in as one person each week and left just slightly changed. Surrounded by my family of faith, I would be flooded with images week after week during worship and listening to teaching. I was a sponge during small group discussions and meetings in coffee shops with my friends. My church of nearly ten years (2012-2021) was a place where I learned to pray, to trust God, and where I began to live my life for something far beyond myself. It is where my husband and I saw our marriage transformed. These are not small things.
When my church family split up in late 2021, it was violent and painful. It was one of those events where it felt like it came out of nowhere, and yet, as we reframed it in our minds, we could see that it had been coming a long way off. I just didn't want to see it. I was depressed and grieving for well over a year, and it would be denial to say the grief doesn't still find me. It catches me unexpectedly when I'm standing in my garden, where my tears fall with the watering wand. Sometimes I remember a formational snippet of teaching, or a saying that has woven its way into my way of existing, a secret tenet. A thread of worship lyrics from the old days sometimes weaves its way into my everyday and reminds me of the monumental loss of such a place--of course, by place, I most certainly mean a people. Those people whose faces I saw Sunday after Sunday, beloved, now dispersed as we expand and scatter. And I ask, what was it for? And what was it to me, really? Just church? Or a false Eden - belonging for some, exclusion for others? What was real, and what was imagined?
It turns out the reservoirs of my faith run far below such a place. This is something I do not stop giving thanks for. And, if I learned anything within the walls of that church, it was that my suffering has meaning, and I am not alone. I have seen my scars gilded and glittering in the dark. I have been healed and encouraged and I know that the suffering and loss I experience in this life isn't the end. I also know that such suffering can somehow be metabolized into something valuable and nourishing, and yet it is not to be minimized in its horror. This is a holy paradox, and I only speak of my experience here. This pain and yet beauty, this sorrow and yet joy, this separation from dear ones and yet closeness to Jesus is not a blanket I am asking to drape over anyone else's experience to dress it up or remake it in my own understanding. It is just my experience of my own pain, which is at times an ache and others a maw deep as a chasm, impassable. It is real and it is impossible and unfair, and yet, there is somehow value in it - the most value of anything I will ever know or experience.
Job feels like a dear friend to me in this place. With Job, I question and poke and prod and demand that God to show up in the midst of it all. And when he appears out of the whirlwind I remember he was always there - he has never left. And I remember because of his words that his wisdom holds together the ribbons of galaxies, the blood and bone of existence, and all the stars in their beautiful and terrible wonder. "But God, the flowers need the sun!" I will argue something like this, telling him that I know how his creation works. "Give me back my sun! Please! Flowers can't grow in the dark!" And he reminds me that there are false suns. Their lights can burn as well as bless. And He reminds me, too, that there are flowers he made that bloom only in the dark.
Original canvas painting in ranges of crimson and wine, grays, very dark blues, indigo, gold, silver.
All artwork is signed on the back. Can be signed on the front at collector's request.
Keep in mind that paintings can look slightly different in person. I paint using a lot of texture, so they are even better when you can see them in person - it is hard to capture here!
Artwork is protected by copyright. All images displayed are property of Kelly Kruse. The sale of original artwork does not include the sale of copyright, including rights to reproduce or license imagery. All rights reserved.
SHIPPING & HANDLING
Shipping for this listing is for contiguous US States and will be fulfilled via USPS or FedEx ground within the US.
I will gladly reduce prices for combined shipping! Please contact me and let me know which paintings you want shipped together and I can give you a quote and then adjust the shipping amount on the painting listings.
I will ship internationally. Please contact me if you want to make a purchase so that I can let you know how much it will cost you to ship. If you do decide to go ahead and buy, I will then change my listing so that it allows you to do so. International buyers are responsible for any duty relative fees and UPS broker fees. I will not mark your package as 'gift' in order for you to avoid the duty fees.
The shipping price in this listing is for the contiguous US only. ALASKA and HAWAII will cost more. Please contact me first for a shipping quote before you purchase so that I can adjust the cost on the listing. Thank you.