“love burst”


… only she has no idea it is headed her way!  That’s right… this one is a surprise!

This painting was commissioned by a team of over 15 buyers for the benefit of one lucky lady as a surprise parting gift; Our dear friend, Lena, is switching careers and leaving her current work family to pursue other passions.  In reality, we are all the lucky ones to have had the opportunity to learn and grow alongside such an inspirational leader.  In a few days I will be driving 500 miles to hand deliver “love burst” on behalf of the greatest group anyone could hope to work with.  I can’t wait to see Lena’s reaction viewing this big 48″x48″ bright burst of neon love in person.

It all started a little more than four weeks ago when our large group received the news that she was leaving the company.  Soon after, chatter began about what we were going to do to send her off.  My peers knew of my part-time painting passion and since Lena is already an owner of osTRAnderART, it was suggested that I create a surprise piece from the whole gang.  I shared with the group that I would be honored (and that I was a bit freaking out) for the pressure to complete something big, bold, and beautiful on such short notice.  After some quick team voting the commission was on with only one guiding artistic request…. GO BIG and GO NEON!

Neon colors are one of the trademarks of this group Lena ran.  Over the years we would gather in some part of the country for leadership meetings and neon shirts or hats or bandanas or whatever would be distributed for wearing at some fun outing we all participated in, for team building and for fun (or perhaps as a test of loyalty, like when we were handed leopard printed garments!;-)  Nonetheless, the GSD crew got $hit done with a whole lot of fun!  And Lena was responsible for it all… the fun, the success, and the loving work family known as “TEV”.

So I tried to pull in all these elements into a piece that would be in somewhat the same style as her current piece, “fantasy carousel”. I started with three layers of gesso for some brushwork texture.  Before laying down the black base color, I embedded “GSD”, another trademark of TEV, knowing it would never be seen but would always be at the core of the work… just like, well… work!=) Next was the black base… and then I had to pull in the spirit animal of this piece, the leopard print!  For this feature I wanted to have it present, but not all-consuming; to fade the edges into the black background; and with the same bright intensity of colors that would drive the composition on top.  After taping, and spraying, and spotting, the background was complete.

I was genuinely impressed with the piece thus far and hated knowing I was going to cover up much of this work… but I had a plan for the technique I wanted to use for the bright NEON colors.  Now was the point where I just needed to execute and not screw it up!

As I began to pour and brush and toss the first few colors I started to see the composition come to life.  I didn’t have any intention for any specific image or recognizable object in mind, but as I added and splashed the last bit of colors, the process and painting itself decided to ultimately depict what this work is all about… a heart, our heart.  And not just one heart, but many hearts can be seen; all of the hearts that Lena touched and she now has to take with her… in a “love burst”.

So that’s the orientation I used when I signed the piece and what you see atop this post.  As an added bonus, I had plenty of extra paint mixed up when the big one was done, so with a spare canvas I had in the studio a companion piece was born.  A fun mix of bright colors on this second, untitled work will also be delivered.

Good luck in everything you do, Lena!  We will miss you! <3


“love burst”

Date of Creation:May, 2024
Size:48″ x 48″

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