Gail Daley Art Blog
Happy Valentine's Day
When did we start celebrating Valentine'_____s Day? Well I suppose you could say it began with a poem written by Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote a poem that cemented a pre-existing general belief, at least in medieval England, that February 14 was the day when birds chose their mates. Chaucer, 1343 ___'________________________ 25 October 1400, is known as the Father of English literature and he is widely considered one of the greatest English poets of the middle Ages. The most popular idea of the creation of St. Valentine was that St. Valentine was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who had been forbidden to marry. Okay, so how did Cupid get mixed up with the saints? In Roman mythology, Cupid is the god of erotic love, affection and desire. He is often represented as the son of the goddess Venus, with a father rarely mentioned in ancient Roman sources although most likely his father was either Vulcan, Venus'_____s husband or Mars her most frequent lover. His Greek counterpart is Eros. Cupid is also known in Latin as Amor meaning love. Although Eros appears in Classical Greek art as a slender winged youth, during the Hellenistic period he was increasingly portrayed as a chubby boy with a bow and arrow. This is where we get those fat babies running around with a bow and arrow apparently! A person, or even a deity, shot by Cupid's arrow is filled with irrepressible longing. Cupid has wings to symbolize the idea that lovers are inconsistent, foolish and irrational. His symbols are the arrow and torch, "because love can burn (how many singers have used this burning love allegory in their music? The arrow comes to symbolize the hurt love can inflict; those we love can hurt us the most. The phrase love is blind comes from the fact that cupid or Eros is sometimes portrayed wearing a blindfold. When I started researching for this blog (yes I do research my blogs!), I looked for art associated with Valentine's Day and Romance. I discovered that most Valentine art appearing on the internet was in the form of cards and that 85% of the art concerning Romance came up with book covers. The book covers were interesting (sort of) as they appeared to be aimed at a primarily female audience. Does this mean that men aren't interested in romance? Having been married for over 30 years, I have to say that this is not true, but men and women do define romance very differently. For most women the essence of romance is a handsome, virile lover, preferably a man who can handle himself in any situation. Jeff Foxworthy once said in one of his comedy routines that many women wanted a dangerous man____ as a lover (envisioning someone like James Bond no doubt) and then in reality would find themselves leaning out the window of a doublewide trailer yelling at the sheriff to lock him up! Reality meets fantasy. Several years ago, I decided I wanted to do some romantic art (I admit with the ulterior motive of showing publishers I could do book covers!) so I painted some couples dancing. I used the most romantic images I could think of: beautiful clothes, candlelight settings, ballrooms, etc. I was very happy with the way the paintings turned out and I still feature them close to Valentine's Day in promotions. I have promotions going now, one for any kind of prints or cards and two for canvas prints in special sizes. The two featured in special prints are Celebration and Lets Dance . Just click on the title and it will take you to the promotion page. This is a time-limited promotion and ends February 3rd so don'_____t procrastinate! For the general promotion on cards and other prints, just click on the link Gail Daley's Print Shop and then enter this discount code on your order: DYDUKT (discount Code) and receive 25.00% off any item ordered. Only the first 20 customers will be eligible for the discount and it closes on Feb 15, 2013.