“You’re Not Alone” 6×6, oil on canvas

I had a lot of fun with this one, working as much with the background shapes and colors as I did with the birds. I didn’t have it in mind exactly, but after I painted it, I was listening to a playlist I’ve been adding to for three + years, and the lyrics of a familiar song seemed to speak directly to this piece.

A lot of my work is inspired by poetry. And sometimes the poem is directly in my mind as I paint the image. But, more often, it’s just in there somewhere, stored, simmering. And it comes out without my really knowing it. It’s only later that I’ll attach the words to the painting and not at the start.

That’s what happened today with Allison Russell’s song “You’re not Alone” that features Brandi Carlile. I’ve probably listened to it 10,000 times but this time it struck me– this! This is what I was painting earlier. If you’ve not heard it yet, treat yourself to these two titans collaborating on something truly beautiful. I’ve included it below. You are welcome. 


In the cradle of the circle 

All the ones that came before you 

Well, their strength is yours now 

You’re not alone

All my paintings from the month will be available February 3 at the gallery and online February 6.



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Written by Denise Hopkins

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