Dolly Is Love, 2017
acrylic paint and paper on stretched canvas
3' x 4'
Since I was young, I have known of Dolly Parton as a famous singer and songwriter. She has been a staple of pop culture for as long as I can remember. Until recently, I never really understood how much of a genius and gift to the world she is. My recent awareness was spurred by watching a Christmas special based on her life. About a month ago, I was confronted with Dolly again in the recent Speed Art Museum exhibition “Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art.” In the exhibit, there is a portrait of Dolly by Andy Warhol, another genius, and idol of mine. Celebrity, fame, and fortune are all themes that I am interested in exploring in my work. I am also interested in learning from successful artists that have figured out how to live their artistic visions. I’ve had these thoughts and experiences swirling around in my mind for a while and a couple weeks ago decided to explore Dolly more in-depth by making a portrait of her. I listened to Dolly’s music for nearly the entire time working on the piece. The experience really moved me (sometimes even to tears)! I scrolled through Dolly's recordings and realized she has been releasing music every year for the last 50+ years!! She is an inspiration, to say the least, and is pushing me to stay grinding in the studio!