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Remnants... Bearing fruit, the Painting

Some time ago, I started traveling to discover other African nations. On one border

crossing from Nigeria to the Benin Republic, I bought some CDs. I bought the album

Nothing’s in Vain (Coonu du réer) by the Senegalese artist Youssou N’Dour. That album

brought together many of life’s best parts- a sense of love, adventure, and community.

I loved it. There is a constant - in the creative act, in putting in the work. Time will

tell. History is rife with examples of people who did just that. They were not celebrated

in their lifetimes but got their laurels after. Life is not just in the present. It is also in the

continuation of the past. The connections paint a bigger picture. Patience is key.

We must continue to put in the work. In 2023, I participated in major art exhibitions

and was appointed to an artists’ association board. Also, I was approached to author

a book based on a prominent collector’s art acquisitions! All the bits and pieces of my

life were falling into place to create a beautiful new me, a new picture. An upward

sequence of events happens to all who work at making stuff- a better world, a new way

of being and seeing things.

The painting Remnants Bearing Fruit is all that. It started as a collage of many older oil

paintings that I cut to pieces and used as an initial palette. I added colors to obscure

the effort. I achieved this beautiful and soft interplay of colors. Remnants is a milestone

piece. It was finished at a time when my life’s work was gaining new audiences,

particularly back home in Nigeria. This painting is a marker for my realizing a mature

vision of professionalism. On the canvas are ripped parts of several still-life paintings,

skin, and faces. The idea started as a collage, as an appropriation of color. The process

becomes the reason and enduring theme. The little acts of the past (like the tiny patches

on the painting) may seem irrelevant, mundane, or even unimportant. But God and all

who were witnesses never forget. Things come together. One sees how and why it was

worth it. All our actions count. ‘As the earth endures, seed time and harvest shall not cease’. We will bear fruit. Nothing's in vain.

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