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February 04, 2021
Roses are red, violets are blue
Valentines in lockdown
So what will you do? Are you a romantic?
In a year where Coronavirus has had an affect on everybody's lives, this Valentine’s will be very different for many. I was chatting with my friend and fellow artist Stella Tooth and asked her whether she celebrates Valentine's Day?
She replied that she shares Valentine's cards with her husband that have changed over the years from cartoons of Snoopy coming over all fuzzy (I love you more than cheese etc) to artworks of beautiful places around the world they have seen - or are yet to see - together.
Remembering loves lost
This year, however, many will be thinking about loved ones they have lost, soulmates, as they spend this day alone. They will be remembering and cherishing the memories of many Valentine's Days past.
Celebrating new love
Yet for others love is alive and romance is blossoming... For some it's taking flight online, or from a distance, while for others their love is unrequited. This past year has either driven couples apart or brought them closer together. The chance of meeting someone new has been mostly through apps, as meeting in venues has been so tricky.
The origins of Valentine's Day
According to Wikipedia, Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. It originated as a western Christian feast day honouring one or two early Christian martyrs, named Saint Valentine, and is recognised as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.
The colour red
In some languages the word red actually means colour - and, historically, has signified, love, anger, lust and regality.
Red pigment made from ochre was one of the first colours used in prehistoric art. The Ancient Egyptians and Mayans coloured their faces red in ceremonies; Roman generals had their bodies coloured red to celebrate victories.
It was also an important colour in China, where it was used to colour early pottery and, later, the gates and walls of palaces. And in the Renaissance, the brilliant red costumes for the nobility and wealthy were dyed with kermes and cochineal.
For those in relationships who have endured lockdown, and haven't killed each other yet out of frustration, boredom or the stress of homeschooling, maybe Valentine's night might simply include a delivery from the local takeaway with a bottle of champagne. Then Netflix and an early night?
It's a day with a love / hate relationship! Although many people adore the romance, others feel pressured into making an effort as the pressure is on! Others completely dismiss the day as a load of commercial nonsense!
A gift of love
Will you give a gift to your beloved this year? Something to say "thank you" for staying together through what has been the most difficult year in our lifetime?
I think about unrequited love, my last kiss, hug and embrace....good grief! Was it so long ago? I think happily about my independence, but when Valentine's Day arrives I'm reminded that I don't have an admirer or partner right now, so I'm going to celebrate on my own!
I'm having a party ... just me ... celebrating life, love and the colour RED ... Red is the way forward!
I will wear red lipstick and I might even buy myself a bunch of red tulips... not roses as that would feel like I was trying a little too hard! I am a romantic and the colour red for me brings to mind joy, passion and celebration.
I shall wear a red dress, sit on my red throw and play fiery Latin jazz. I will eat all red foods: tomato and red pepper soup, strawberries, raspberries and drink merlot.
And I will paint a landscape in sanguine, vermillion, scarlet and alizarin crimson, inspired by memories of sunsets abroad.
And I shall rearrange my gallery shelf with images that bring me joy and give me a renewed sense of positivity and hope.
A gift of art
Let's celebrate the colour red in all its glory with or without romance this February, remember all our past loves and look to the future to new relationships, and embrace the beautiful work within our Skylark gallery.
Many of our artists work in red or create images which symbolise love. Have a look and, you never know, you might find exactly the right way to celebrate this special day and treat yourself or your beloved to something unique.
Abstract Peony 2 by Claire Thorogood £570
Party by Gill Hickman £250
Never forget by Sarita Keeler £75
Angel by Wilf Frost £690
Cut face by Corrine Edwards £95
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