A Christmas Commission

The turtle might seem a unusual symbol for love, but that is precisely what makes this commission so appropriate for Andy and Jamie Hoffman; its symbolism is as genuine, vibrant, and unique as they are. A surprise Christmas present from Jamie to Andy, The Happy Turtle [above] depicts Oliver, Jamie's own much-loved turtle, the corners of whose mouth always appear to be turned up in a tranquil smile. Surrounding her are organic abstractions based on the elaborate patterns of turtle shells, trees, and what I would imagine a turtle's most pleasant days in the grass to be. From the slow-but-steady tortoise who beat the hare to the mythical turtle carrying the Earth on its back to the real-life turtles that have lived over a century (or two), turtles have represented many things to many cultures. . . but it was their longevity, tenacity, and more or less peaceful nature that kept coming to mind as I made the above painting. I wanted it to be as joyful and straight-forward as a child's drawing, with the thick texture of a turtle's shell and skin. It brings a painter great joy to be entrusted to make such a personal Christmas commission. . . I hope that Jamie and Andy will enjoy it for decades to come.

On that note, I hope that everyone has had a warm and happy Christmas, and that the holidays of this season will continue to inspire and bring cheer to all!

1 comment

Jamie Hoffman said...

The highlight of our kitchen! Jake proudly shows "Oliver" to everyone who comes in our home.