Saturday, April 08, 2006

April 8 - Disbelief

The first stage of grief is to deny its happened. I'm there right now.  Today's painting is an on-location study of a creek near our home, and the babbling water was restful and a good escape from accepting what's happened.  I'll freely admit I'm in the first stage of grief, which is denial (For example, "Oh, here's my Mom's watch in my purse, I'll have to give it back to her.") 
  So I met my beloved husband at this stream, and while he napped, I painted this 8 x 10 oil.  It may not be the most spectacular work I've ever done, since I'm so exhausted, but it eases my eyes.  $150.  Now I'm going to sleep, for I only had about an hour last night.

April 8 - Death of my Mother - She's Gone

My mother passed away about three hours after I posted her image on the blog.

Friday, April 07, 2006

April 7 - My Mother Dies

When one chooses to remember a loved one, it ought not be the image of the last moments spent with them, their physical frame hardly recognizable as the specter of death approaches. Better to remember the light in their eyes, imagery of earlier times, and more. My vigil continues with my mother, and I brought my brushes again.
Concentrating on an image of my mother as a younger, vital woman distracts me from the reality of the shell of the person I love beside me. I'm sending this from her room, as I am staying the night, since her time is near. I do these paintings because I love her, and I need to be here to lift her spirit to the next life.
This amazing woman got her private pilot's license while living in Hawaii in the late 1930's, and was there for the bombing of Pearl Harbor, too. I chose a black and white photograph of her in the flying cap and goggles, as I know her spirit will be soaring again soon, to meet up with my father who left this Earth eight years ago after 58 years of marriage to her.
Here on Earth I will have her sparkle and smile in this painting forever. Original oil on board, 12 x 9 inches. Never will be sold.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

April 6 - Spring Torrent

"Spring Runoff" A painting of movement, yet with the stoic and solid large rocks holding on throughout the torrent, a fitting statement of the last week's events. Spring runoff water comes down the creek, washing the winter away, and leaving the stones clean and in place, as the water is transitory, like events in our lives. Original oil on 5 x 7 board, sold.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

April 5 - Mom, Resting

"Mom, Resting" What is it that makes a work of art MORE than just the subject or medium? We spend a lot of our lives honing our skills to be able to create our art. We do studies, we do practice paintings, we do classes, we work hard to make our marks. I am beginning to realize as I come to this level of painting, that creating nice paintings is well and good, showing technical excellence. But greatness comes from creating paintings that will stand the test of time, by marking such a specific moment, that universally anyone can relate to it.
I spent my day caring for my mom, and as you can expect, brought my brushes. I did this 8 x 10 oil while she was resting. When I look at it, I see so much more in the painting than it's just being a painting. I see technical certainty from miles of canvas, I see good design. But I also see a complete infusion of me, the artist, in the work. Along with that, I also see the reason for the work, the merit of the subject, and what I have been trying to do for many years--connect the work to the world at large and capture a specific moment of living--of life.
"Mom, Resting" is not for sale

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

April 4 - Sunset in Oahu

"Sunset in Oahu" After coming home from dealing with hospice and details currently filling every waking moment, I wanted to just chuck it all and go to sleep.  But I cannot.  I need to excise a little beauty from the events unfolding around me, and so I spent a goodly amount of time choosing an appropriate subject for today's painting.  It is a sunset, painted with evening light colors, and is of the waters of my mom's beloved Oahu, where, in 1935, she came and began a stay of 12 years, meeting and marrying my dad, and also getting a private pilot's license.  
  It is appropriate as an end-of-day image, filled with the beauty of all of the intervening hours, and the beauty created in part because of the earlier formation of clouds and moisture--like the events that create a full life, creating also a beauty to the finish.     5 x 7 inches on gallery wrap in oil

Monday, April 03, 2006

April 3 - Revised Floral

 "The Orange Jug" I did make a window of time today to work on the 16 x 12 still life I showed you two days ago. Here it is newly modifed and "improved".
No longer bland, it has better light, better values and better color. Sometimes putting a work aside for a year or two can make a major difference in the end product. You just get smarter. Smarter about what to do to make a painting go from "ho-hum" to "ho-Whoa"!
My choices were to contrast the background with the flowers
and to lighten the values in the vase and foreground cloth. I wanted to consciously stick to the complementary blue/orange scheme, though. The end result is far more intimate than that "other thing". US $ 375 and it's yours.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

April 2 - Mom in Bed, Sadness

Today was supposed to be the revised painting I showed you yesterday, but the only time I lifted my brushes today was to paint my beloved mother in her hospital bed.  I just returned home from spending all of today into the evening staying with her and authorizing comfort care.  She's 98, had fallen, and has pneumonia and a fever.  Why did I paint her? I painted her because I could do no less.  It brings out from deep inside me the feelings I have for this remarkable woman, and allows me to really see her--etch her nuances forever fin my mind in these final days.  It gives me something productive to do when one feels so helpless to change the course of things.  I had my plein air gear and just set up next to her and did this little 5 x 7 canvas in oils.  It's a very poor image, taken in almost twilight.  I'll get a better one tomorrow.  I may do another one when I get to the hospital again.  These won't be for sale.