“Taking the World into my Arms,” 6×6, oil on canvas

I was having some trouble in the studio, so I took the advice I recently gave another artist: paint something familiar while you wait for the next inspiration to come. It usually comes when you’re painting, afterall.

So I pulled three figures from a photograph of a second line band at one of the many weddings where I’ve painted and started playing with their shapes and colors on a 6×6 canvas.

In her poem “When Death Comes” Mary Oliver writes, 


When it’s over, I want to say: all my life 

I was a bride married to amazement. 

I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”


I like to think of this particular band as commemorating the marriage Oliver describes.



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Written by Denise Hopkins

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