“Song I Can’t Unlearn” 6×6, oil on canvas.


What if you could look at a song, hold it up to the light and see what shapes form? Take in the whole thing all at once and not moment by moment, note by note?

I think it is probably why I paint and why, although I love music, I don’t really understand it at all.  Where is the song once it’s played?

For 28 days now I’ve listened to a new song each evening– my boyfriend Kelly agreed to take on this 31 days with me and the group in the form of recording a new piece of music on his classical guitar each day. When Rodney “Butch” Bailey wrote a love poem on day 4 of the challenge, I knew I was going to have to borrow both their gifts for today’s painting.

I met Kelly just about a year and a half ago, and he is this song I can’t unlearn, one I feel like I might be able to hold up to the light and look at, even as it has to be heard in time, note by note. Butch’s words say it better than mine, and I hope he doesn’t mind that although he wrote them about someone else, in my mind, they will forever describe Kelly. I think good love poems are like that. I’ve written his poem into the background of this painting. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


You’re this song I can’t unlearn,

A gift I’ll never earn,

The oasis that I seek at journey’s end.

Fall in your waters cool and clear,

Could drown, but feel no fear.

For your heart will lift me up

And I’ll be born again, again.

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