Every week ArtisticMoods invites an artist to tell us something about the ambitions behind their work. This week we give the word to Melissa Moss, who explains how her grief over the loss of a friend became her motivation to create a beautiful and delicate series of paintings.
This series of paintings titled “love ~ found and lost” was created last year for a solo show at Petit Morpho gallery in Hong Kong. The inspiration for these paintings came from my dear friend, Joe Kimberling, who passed away in March of last year. The paintings are in chronological order (1-8) starting with when Joe and I met, exploring NYC together, moving to Los Angeles, his death, grieving for Joe, and finally, moving forward.
Joe and I met in Chicago when we were both in our twenties and we became instant best friends. We lived in NYC and Los Angeles at the same time also. He was one of the funniest and silliest people I have ever met. We had the same sense of humor, and shared the same appreciation for how strange and absurd life in a big city can be. He was a brilliant art director and designer and he introduced me to the work of many artists and illustrators. When I decided to leave my career in publishing and become an artist, his words of encouragement and praise sustained me. While working on these pieces I reflected back on our relationship…I talked to Joe. I laughed with him. I listened to music that we both loved. And I cried…a lot. But mostly, I remembered him, and us. I miss him terribly and the overwhelming grief still hits me at unexpected times. But working on these pieces helped me to remember Joe and all of the beautiful moments we shared.
I wanted these paintings to look different from the rest of my work. The ideas for them came quickly and I loved painting them. I worked with acrylic glazes on wood to create textured and layered backgrounds. I loved the challenge of creating something new, for Joe.
1. Love at first giggle
2. Where you go I go
3. Our own little world
4. I miss us
5. The saddest day
6. I just want to hear your voice one more time
7. Dream a dream of you
8. Letting go