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Week 7 : Healing and Painting Day -To -Day

A diary means yes indeed. ​Gertrude Stein

As I look back over these paintings, it occurs to me that this practice of daily painting became a visual diary of sorts. I look at the photos and I remember details from when I made the images. I see from the photo above, that I had produced so many pieces that required a surface to dry on, I had run out of surfaces in the living room where I was recovering. I started to bring the paintings into the dining room and spreading them out on the table there. This reminds me that I was walking with a walker by this time, and often needed only a cane. A sign of great progress! Working on August 4, I varied the length and size of the marks, making a section of staccato marks in the upper right hand corner, below this area of high activity, I pulled the color into skeins. Overall there is a suggestion of a movement in space reminding me of foliage near water. The piece is very abstract, I did not add any detail to make it represent such a place, but the feeling is suggested.

The paintings completed in these days are full of air and light. In the piece completed on August 9, large colored marks created shapes and the white paper became an equal contributor,(with the pigment), to the image. The negative space became shapes defined by the edges of the colored shapes.

I remember wondering how this work would carry over to my large canvases once I am able to return to my studio and the large canvases. Even now in November I have not, yet, returned to my studio and my large canvases. I think I will be strong enough soon.

The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. ...Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something. Kurt Vonnegut,

As I’ve said this in earlier posts I felt as if I had no control in my life, I exerted the control by sitting down to create a new piece with the art materials I had at hand. I’m still kind of mystified by this process, completing a new piece every day, or 2 days, is a huge departure from the way I have worked for close to 4 decades. This change in my way of working has resulted in a radical acceptance of what is to occur. ​ The colors in this painting are softer, quieter, physically scraped down. I used the palette knife to smush and scrape the color, and used the side of the knife to draw lines. The overall effect, to me, is of an eruption.

I’ve been pondering how this change in process changes the produced work. What I can say is that every day has been about discovery. I start fresh each day, I am not excavating or developing an idea started in the studio days or weeks before. What matters is the process. I sit down with an intention to work, to find what there is to find, with little investment in controlling how the completed piece will look.

​The piece completed on August 9 has a band along the left side that is in conversation with the main event of the clear bright colors moving around the center of the page.

There is a transcendent feeling in being subsumed and surrendering to work, you become a part of something other than yourself. There is a reward in just doing the work.

​Looking over these images, I am struck by the peace, the light, the joy.

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