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Colorful oil painting on canvas
Hot House Flower/Billie Holiday

Song: "Lover Man"
Inspiration: The day Billie Holiday died (July 17, 1959)

Billie Holiday--probably my favorite singer to paint to. A few evenings before painting this, my husband was telling me some of her early history. It was obvious in her music, the sadness. She was born to a child and abandoned by her mother, she dropped out of school at ten, and was raped at age 11. She was prostituted before she turned 14 years old. She's a tragic figure. She's a caged flower. She is not free. I portray her as a beautiful rose garden caged in her tears. Yet, if you look closely, there's a lock. I found it while walking home and glued it into this painting. It symbolized what she must have done in order to survive. She just locked all of that pain up and survived in spite of it.