When I cannot see words curling like rings of smoke around me I am in darkness – I am nothing. I only come into existence when the plumber, or the horse dealer, or whoever it may be, says something which sends me alight. Then how lovely the smoke of my phrases is, rising and falling, flaunting and falling, upon red lobsters and yellow fruit, wreathing them into one beauty. – Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf looks depressed in most photos, because she frequently was. Never hold that against anyone. Privilege, talent and education don’t mean a thing when the Black Dog is dogging you. The good news is, a bi-polar doesn’t have to go far for a second opinion, if they’re doing it right.
This painting’s split of positive and negative colors and Virginia’s conflicted countenance serve to describe the circumstance of her inner state and how she produced (or co-produced) such timeless brilliance in spite of it. She is one of many reasons I’m so interested in flawed geniuses and broken heroes. Sometimes your problems are the seed of your potential, and since no-one’s perfect, that presents a herbiverse of possibilities. But keep a leash on that dog – Virginia’s ran off and drowned.
The green hillock behind her left shoulder serves only to fill space, but it reminded me of the hills of West Virginia, hence my working title “West Virginia Woolf”, which in the end was too corny to make the cut.