"Be fearless. Don’t hold back or strive for perfection. Not everyone is going to like what you do, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t wonderful." These are the iconic bits of advice that Madison Hart wants to share with anyone who is taking up the brush. "If you’re having trouble with a piece, put it away and start something new… sometimes a break can change your perspective. What you don’t like one moment, you just might love the next!" Good advice, yet hard-earned. In this case, wisdom born through the evocation of pain. "Within a span of two-and-a-half years, I lost both my parents while my sister, Denise, battled cancer," Madison recalls. "These events not only profoundly changed my life, but also dramatically influenced the way I paint today. Though I was known for my realistic cottage gardens, for some reason I can’t explain, I could no longer paint the same way. Instead, I felt compelled to express my feelings and experiences, craving the freedom to create from my mind and spirit – to tell my story rather than paint what I saw." Her new work is filled with symbolism. Madison sees it as illustrating the journey of life through our trials and tribulations and the lessons learned along the way. "To start with, my paintings are always slightly askew and a little messy," she explains, "just like life. The houses represent our souls or spirit – the essence of who we are. They’re placed in rows to signify our connections to one another; the bonds we form with family and friends and the similarities and differences we share as human beings. The gardens and flowers are about our growth, both physical and spiritual. When the flowers are contained in a vase, it denotes decisions and choices made, not influenced by fate or others but by instinct and intuition. The trees stand for wisdom and knowledge. The paths and roads symbolize the
left, When Sun Shines, acrylic on canvas, 30" x 40" above, First Light, acrylic on canvas, 30" x 30"