In the spirit of Valentine's Day I decided to do a heart painting. I don't know why but the first thing that came to mind was one of those cliche tattoos of a heart with MOM across it. The next thing I knew I was googling heart tattoos. I loved the bright colors, the clean lines! Eventually I worked out my own "tattoo design" and it made for a fun painting. Behold-
So I admit I sort of got sucked into the whole tattoo realm for a while. The internet is just so full of interesting information! I was especially enthralled with the history behind some of the tattoos. Take the swallow for instance. You see this bird in tattoos a lot and there's all sorts of symbolism behind it. Sailors have long been known to have a swallow tattooed on their chest. Before modern navigation, birds were a much welcome sight as their appearance was the fist sign of land. The swallow in particular was known to return home no matter how far away it had migrated to, so the swallow became a symbol of "safe return home" for sailors. A swallow was traditionally tattooed onto the chest of a sailor for every 5,000 nautical miles he traveled. The more swallow tatts on a guy, the more experienced of a sailor he was. And according to legend, if the sailor perished at sea, the swallow would take flight and carry his soul out of the murky ocean waters and up to heaven.
Swallows are also a sign of love and fidelity. The swallow chooses a mate for life and will only nest with that mate. So two swallows depicted together often symbolize soul mates joined for life. They're a sign of loyalty and true love. Awww! The perfect subject matter for a painting to pair with the first one I did.
Together I thought they made a nice set of Valentines.
Don't forget about your Valentine next Tuesday! Happy Hearts Day!
Hey, I'm Holly
I live in Raleigh, NC with my husband and our three boys. I stay at home with my kids and make art, and messes, and memories.