Guns in America 2016 > More Guns in America 2016

OSB (oriented strand board), acrylic paint, milk paint
32 x 62 cm

saudade: noun
(in Portuguese folk culture) a deep emotional state of melancholic longing for a person or thing that is absent.*

When I first sketched this image, I was 'alone' on a commercial jet plane. The sketch held a deep feeling of separation and parting for which I could not find the words. I could not tell if I was drawing a floating heart that was lifting like a fresh balloon over a shed skin, or if it was a deflating, draining heart over a shadow puddle of blood. Or both at once. I connected this image with the empathy and sorrow I associate with the visceral, societal feelings of losses resulting from gun violence in America. I spent a long time with this image, painting and working layer after layer, all the way down to the subtle gunmetal/hematite colour of the frame. Finally, I found a word that conveyed the feeling I sought to capture in this image: saudade.

*"saudade". Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 30 Apr. 2017. <>.