It was an unhappy concurrence. A couple of hours before my mother died, my studio flooded. In the five and a half years I`ve lived here, there has never been a hint of moisture in my basement. So I foolishly trusted my hole in the ground would be as dry as toast forever. Work on canvas was stored upon pallets and newer work on paper was in my flat file or on a table, so it wasn`t a full catastrophe. But I had boxes of books and letters and portfolios of drawings and watercolors from my past on the floor. They were ruined. I was also very sick so these two different, simultaneous losses seemed overwhelming.
The next day, having had the water removed at great expense, I began to see the opportunity in this disaster. Someday before my exit, I intended to sort through the reams of figure drawings and experiments on paper, review the decades of correspondence and winnow the books and toss out this detritus from my life. So John or my heirs would not have to. Suddenly, that day was now. We brought in a dumpster. Having lost my mother on this same day gave me a grim acceptance, made me focus on the future.
Grief has many facets yet I was surprised to find the old ones resurfacing. I was aching for my brother and father too. When someone close dies, the mourning feels vast. Like a sorrow for the whole world, for all life.
I`ve been comforted, advised, prodded, fed, encouraged, consoled and helped by many lovely friends in the past week, I thank you from my heart.
my young parents
This Wednesday is the evening of my gallery talk at In Bocca al Lupo Fine Art in Oregon City at 7 pm. I`ll tell you all about sump pumps and drainage engineering. Ask me questions about painting, I hope to do that again.