The white skeleton, sort of hanging, standing over there by the wall is between the reformer and the trapeze table. This guy has been getting my attention lately. Ok, OK, I’ll try to draw you. So after my session I did a quick sketch of him. (It has been determined that he is a young man.) The drawing is a bit abstract and I only sketched down to his knees. I didn’t plan very well – just started drawing. Now that my core is strong and I’m standing straight up, I’ll see if I can walk out of here and keep my good posture along with a good attitude while I get bombarded by life’s daily adventures.
‘May Feelings’ acrylic on canvas about 4 x 5 feet May 2012
click on images to enlarge
A ‘Red Line’ series is falling into place. It started over a year ago with this painting.
I was awake and wanted to paint. It was 2:00 in the morning. This happened during a workshop taught by Leigh Hyams http://www.artsreal.com/. at Mountain Home Ranch in Calistoga, California. I put some warm clothes on, took my flashlight and went down to the studio. Turning on the lights I brought out a large roll of pre-gessoed canvas, cut off a piece and left it on the floor. I looked and looked, sat by it and walked around it. What am I going to paint? What is in you? Who are you? What do you want to paint about? What are your true feelings inside you. What have been your true feelings? What have you been dealing with? Ah ha! with that question I knew it was easy. I had just been diagnosed with throat cancer. How did I feel about that? What was inside me ? Not what had I been looking at in the real world. So I put some limits on my painting, no familiar shapes or colors. The colors had to all come from within. The painting had to express how I felt about having cancer in me now. What color were my cancer feelings? They sure as hell weren’t pinks, peaches and cream, these colors being my familiar palette. I mixed up a mess of colors and started to paint. I painted with my brushes, with a palette knife, my hands. I didn’t stop until I was done. The painting needed something. I took a tube of red paint and made a red line. The painting was finished. I tacked it up on the wall and walked back up the road to my room as the morning light filled the outside space.
‘Rolled’ acrylic on canvas 4 x 5 feet October 2012
The cancer is gone. New feelings come with new experiences.
When I went through radiation, I distracted myself by making art. When my expectations of life don’t go the way I hope, I plunge myself into my art. When I want to relax or when I want to have a good fight with a canvas, I make art. Art is in my bones.
The following is a true story about a woman who used art to survive a very lonely existance.
Sonabai was discovered by the Indian artworld and awarded India’s highest honor given to an artist, the President’s Award.
She grew up in a house full of relatives living a full, happy life. Through an arranged marriage, this 25 year old married a 45 year old widow. He was a jealous man and moved her out of town where she had grown up and forbid her to have any contact with anyone. She was only allowed to go the the well behind her house and to the fields to work. One day she wanted to shield herself from the strong sun. She built a bamboo structure, covered it with clay and painted the screen white. Sonabai gave birth to one son. Soon the boy needed a toy with which to play. She made some clay and paint with the natural materials found within her compound and created a horse. After that she embellished her house and added to the lattice. She created ornaments, images of people, Hindu gods and goddesses and more. There has been an exhibit of her work in San Diego, California http://www.mingei.org/exhibitions/sonabai
I came back to this painting today with the thought of just finishing it up a bit. It was early. I brought some beautiful tulips we had at home. With the thought of doing some warm up drawings first, I found some big pieces of paper. Using a stick from Calistoga I sketched with walnut ink which is a warm brown color. The drawings came out nice and loose.
Here is one of about 5 or 6 warm ups I did. On this one, after the photograph was made, I added another stroke to make the box-like shape more strong.
Two of my favorites.
Here I’m getting ready to paint with these really great new acrylics that act like oil paint.
You can blend, even erase paint when it is dry and the end result doesn’t look like plastic.
Using a stick and walnut ink I sketched in the tulips. I saw a smilie face. Shall I erase it or try turning the canvas horizontally?
click on images to see more detail
After hanging the painting horizontally, I brought it together with some paint. Dated May 30th, this painting is titled Celebration. Besides celebrating the fact that I have been cancer free for a year, the painting is about celebrating the birthdays of two very good friends. Make that three friends 🙂
This is the beginning of a painting started yesterday celebrating my new birthday, one year after cancer surgery. I am one happy camper. Now I have a few paintings I’ve started. That is the easy part. I have to go back in and adjust or take care of areas that don’t work. This gets tricky because each stroke I make changes the whole painting, so I have more problems to solve. As, Henry J. Kaiser used to say, “Problems are opportunities in work clothes.”
Unfinished Blue Painting acrylic on canvas 52″ x 36″
Try double clicking on image to see detail
One year ago today, I was operated on for cancer at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. During my stay at the hospital, I made little paintings in a moleskine sketchbook. The whole time I was there, I was surrounded by an extensive collection of art. There was a volunteer who brought a cart full of paintings into my room each day. Patients could choose a painting to be hung in their room. Today, I’m going to work on a larger painting started yesterday. A lot can happen in a year. Art heals.