“Elan Vital” from 1992

Speaking the obvious “Not all art is the same”.  Sometimes I think that my best paintings were created years ago.  Part of my heart and soul went into their making and they speak of humanness, some deep emotion coming from inside me, something that can’t be taught or predicted.

Elan Vital is one painting that captured multi-layers of my thought and heart.  Going back in time, the year 1992, I was a mother three times with the youngest age ten.  Life had taken on many shades of grey, no longer a black and white world, no longer a right and wrong world.  I had some very deep emotions going on inside, emotions I couldn’t put words to, emotions that came out when I put brush to canvas.

I painted this picture of a mother looking at her child, but her child looks out at the world.  The original painting is approximately 12 inch X 18 inch, oil on masonite board (not canvas).  I remember repainting the child’s face over and over before deciding it was time to stop. That is one of the benefits of working with oil paints.  I consider this one of my greatest paintings.  There are loads of technical mistakes, but some inner life shines out.

I made my own Christmas cards that year, photographed Elan Vital,  cut out my own frames, and hand-wrote this quote (inspired by something I observed) around the photo:

“The woman wept with joy over another’s children and I saw in her the living God.  
Love has been given to people to dwell in their hearts.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

My choice of quote, with multi-layer reasons for choosing, came from a little book by Tolstoy titled “What Men Live By”.   It’s for women too!

LR mother child card

Love has been given to people to dwell in their hearts!  Love has been given to people to dwell in their hearts!  Love has been given to people to dwell in their hearts!

Wishing you a great December.   LR


About Wings of Wonder

Linda Ruddy is a creative and she works in a variety of materials including pencils, paints, paper, porcelain and fabric. Her current projects involve hand-sewn bookbinding, children's book illustrating, and writing. In 2010, two of her paintings were published in the Saddleback College literary magazine, The Wall. In the past, she has received recognition for painting and doll making. Linda lives in California with her husband and family pet. Her new blog can be found at:www.wingsofwonder.worpress.com Please visit often to see how the site develops. Following the muse, Linda Ruddy
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5 Responses to “Elan Vital” from 1992

  1. Beautiful work! How wonderful that your artistic talent will be such a gift to those who received your cards. 🙂

    • Thanks! This is one of my favorites, but my artistic style changed drastically several times after Elan Vital, definitely a visual journal of my thoughts and growth. I’ll be sharing more.

  2. marilynscottwaters says:

    Lovely post. Being a mom sure changes things, doesn’t it. Wishing you many warm and happy holiday memories. Hugs, M

  3. catherine says:

    I love love love this painting and love the blog post!!

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