What’s Love Got To Do With It?

I sit here on Valentine’s Day 2022 pondering this commercialized holiday of obligatory love.  If you can’t tell from that first sentence, I loathe Valentine’s Day. My skin crawls every time I have to walk past a stuffed red teddy bear holding a cliched heart saying, “I Wuv U!” Seriously? Do we really need to fill the local landfill with more red teddy bears? What does any of that have to do with love?

Shouldn’t we be showing and giving love 365 days a year? After all isn’t it supposed to be given freely without conditions, obligations, or store-bought candy? Nat King Cole sang it best when he immortalized the words of Eden Ahbez in the song, “Nature Boy.”

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return.” ~ Eden Ahbez 

Love cannot be bought. Sex can be bought. Flattery can be bought. We can even pay someone to show us compassion. But love….that’s given freely. No conditions or obligations.

I have often heard that successful relationships are a 50/50 partnership. I honestly don’t believe that. If you only put in 50% you’re lucky if you get 50% in return. That doesn’t even qualify as a partnership in my book. If everyone in the relationship gives 100% then you will always have 100%.

That all sounds wonderful with unicorns sliding down rainbows, but the truth is, Love is complicated and can not be summed in a greeting card. We don’t have control over who we love or even who loves us, but we do have control over what we do with it. Do we give or accept it freely or conditionally? You can’t negotiate it like a business contract or a lease. Love doesn’t pay the rent, (although sometimes we may wish it did).

The thing is, we shouldn’t have to have a holiday to remind us that we love someone and need to tell them. Don’t buy me roses from the corner gas station as an afterthought. I’d rather you stopped and picked lilies from the side of the road in June and gave them wrapped in a wet paper towel. It’s the days and times that we are not obligated by societal pressures to give and show the love that makes all the difference.

You may be asking, “Yeah, well, what does any of this have to do with art? This is an artist website after all.”

EVERYTHING!  It has everything to do with Art. All art is either created from love, about love, or the lack of love. It’s what binds us and what tears us apart. An artist has a deep passion for creating. We may not always be passionate about the subject matter of our creation, but we are passionate about the work itself. It’s what keeps us going even when we don’t have the rent money. Passion is what we put into our artwork because without passion, all it is, is pigment on paper. Nothing special about it at all and it might as well sit there on the shelf next to that red teddy bear.

Oh!! One last thing…if nobody has told you yet today,                I WUV U!  😘



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Melissa Whitaker

Artist | Illustrator | Photographer Currently Looking for her lost shaker of salt. 🍈

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