The Story Behind The Little Heart Series
by Christopher Mckinzie on Jan 30, 2020
The Little Heart Series is special to me. I suppose every artist says that about their latest creations. All I can tell you is that this series wasn’t planned. It was more of a reaction and coping mechanism to the events of my life during the Summer of 2019.
When heartbreak comes it is always painful and even somewhat shocking. To say that I had no clue that heartbreak was coming wouldn’t be fair. I knew things were not great in my marriage. But, I still was prepared for the abrupt departure of my soon to be ex husband. The loss shook me to my core.
It felt like being cut with a knife. There is a brief moment when a cut doesn’t bleed. I know this after cutting my fingers with shears over the many years I spent providing hair services during my hairdresser days. The body goes into shock. No blood, no pain - just a deep wound.
At that moment you just don’t feel anything. But, you know darn well that it is going to bleed and hurt like a motherfucker. And you know that you will feel the pain every time you move or bend your fingers.
I knew when he left it was going to hurt and it was going to be deep. I could feel the thunderstorm brewing inside me and it genuinely scared me.
When the tears came they were giant waves of sadness. I can tell you that what I felt was so big that all I could imagine myself doing was finding a safe place deep in the sea to wait out the storm. An isolated oasis where the sadness couldn’t touch my heart.
The Little Heart Series is the story of me putting myself back together. Once I started painting them I couldn’t stop. Within 5 months I had painted over 100 Little Hearts in various scenes. The more I painted them the more I learned about myself.
Through my art I have been able to find a deep emotional release. Therapy? Absolutely! One painting at a time I have been able to deal with not just my divorce but other childhood trauma that I honestly thought I had already “worked” through.
The Little Heart represents the little kid in all of us. The sweetness. The innocence of childhood. It is a symbol of simpler times. I wanted the simplicity of the heart to be a stark contrast to the abstract background. Almost a little jarring and maybe even a little out of place at times.
Through this series I started asking questions about the constructs of love. What is love? (insert Haddaway song here circa 1992) Is it just the good stuff? Or is it all the other stuff too? No matter where you fall on this, I think we can all agree that love is a complicated thing.
The biggest thing I have learned (so far) through my artistic exploration of the proverbial broken heart is.... Don’t turn away from the hurt. Embrace it. Don’t be afraid to cry. Let the tears come. Sit with your hurt. Hold it close and do it with a loving heart.
There will be good days and bad days. So take as much time as you need to work through your heartache. Because the truth is, love isn’t how you treat someone when things are good. Love is how you treat others (and yourself) when things go sideways.
Check Out The Little Heart Series