Sunday, March 26, 2017
When I came into the studio yesterday for the first time since January, I knew I wanted to paint something yellow, with small, short marks. I was thinking hieroglyphics in orderly rows.
Well nothing is tidy in my world so soon enough the characters started to move. A random dance, like the flight of bees. Something entomological was going on.
Even though I`ve been indoors for weeks and love the rains of winter, something deep within me was craving light and warmth. To everything there is a season.
It`s been a long difficult winter in the Northwest and people seem tense. For the good of the community, I`m praying for some sunshine.
And hoping beyond hope that I really am on the mend this time. No more surprises!
This drawing from a couple of years ago has the same bumbling, drifting intention.
Another yellow painting, this one from the late 90`s. The work I was doing then attempted to fuse some representational imagery with an abstract sense of space. There were few successes unfortunately.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
I pad drawing
As much as I love the technology, Procreate and other drawing software is nowhere near the sensual experience of real painting. It lacks the spontaneity and therefore the joy. Yet I`m glad I`ve had something to keep my visual mind active. I`ve learned how extremely complex painting is and how supple and responsive hand-eye coordination can be. I haven`t thought about my own art too much through all of this. Being completely unable to attend to it, it`s been healthier to read about other artists and cultures.
After appointments today with my doctors, I`m getting an idea of what the endgame will be. They are encouraged by the tests and especially by the fact that for being so ill, I`m not sick. In fact personally, the greatest challenge has been psychological. It has felt like a mortal threat at times. Though I remind myself frequently that this is not chemotherapy, not kidney dialysis, that I still do have functioning legs, my rational thinking has been of little use. At least during the setbacks, and there have been a few of those. Disability and dependence have been the terrors, not death.
When I was a young fit runner, I used to joke about having such a strong heart. That in my old age my joints would have long been incapacitated but that I`d be trapped in a wheelchair unable to die. This infection got me much closer to that than I ever want to be. Yet I suspect if truly faced with such a reality, I would want to continue.
Last November 8, Illinois elected a woman veteran to the US Senate who lost both her legs in the Iraq war. Tammy Duckworth remains and is whole enough to contribute to the civic life of our country. She is not her body. I am not my body.
So I`m sure I`m learning tons of wise stuff, but I don`t ask me what. Vulnerability is scary. A lot of uncomfortable questions about being worthy or good enough arise rather than the simple gratitude kindness deserves.
There has been an abundance of that, let me tell you. To a person, everyone at Kaiser has been exceptionally encouraging and empathetic. New friends have offered their help open heartedly and older pals have been with me throughout this thing. John and my family have been unshakable. I appreciate every loving comment. Because you took the time to say it. If I`m learning anything, it`s how to be nicer.
Hope to be back in the studio in two weeks, driving in three.
Spring in Oregon will coincide with my returning health, it will be beautiful.