Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Five Birds 2020

Finished version(start of the flu), of Five Birds

I finished this piece in my last week at Anderson Ranch this past January. I was there to teach and work on my own art for three weeks in the glorious winter that is Snowmass, Colorado. I was vaguely aware of the fact that I was developing a cough and my joints were starting to ache, but, since I had already been sick with a cold and sinusitis for the past two weeks, I didn't pay much attention.  Things weren't going well as I adhered the pieces to the panel, shifting ever so slightly as I went to but them down.  The bird caught in the man's hand was too low, so I had to peel his body back up, re-cut it to make the body bigger, and then add wings to cover up where I had pulled it up.  In the process, I lost the big bird's hands and had to remake them, and as well, somehow the beak went from being small and sweet to large and threatening. Even the three birds in the trees seemed now to be alarmed rather than interested. And for some, flu connected reason, I thought the legs should be walking instead of standing still.  The image went from being welcoming and sweet to dark and threatening. But it was done, glued down, and there was nothing more I could do.  I cleaned up, wobbled to my room on aching legs, and finally admitted to myself that I was coming down with the flu, realizing Five Birds had become an accurate representation of what the world had become for me.

First (pre-flu) unfinished version of 5 birds

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Figure with Spots(and Open Arms) 2018

The photo that forms the basis of this image was taken from a clipping of some kind showing a woman who was going through chemotherapy, and was bald as a result.  I didn't know the woman(girl?), but I loved the image.  It had a spare honesty that caused me to "borrow" it to use for my own images.  Recently, I've been battling my own health issues and for most of 2020 I've been walking around with what feels like a bucket on my head--sinusitis. But along with my poor health, the world has been hit with the Corona Virus, and when I mention that I had contracted the flu, the first thing people ask me is, "Were you in China?"  The news everyday is a recounting of the number of people who have been afflicted, cruise ships stuck in ports with all aboard quarantined, the daily death toll from the virus, and pictures from China of people being chased and beaten for not having their white masks on.

We live in a germy world, surrounded by viruses and bacteria, not to mention environmental pollutants and toxins.  It almost seems a miracle to me that we do as well as we do, and having just gone through the deaths of my parents at or near the age of 90, who didn't die of any illness, but of just of being old, I have to think that we either dodge those zinging particles of illness and death or we don't.  Either way, we just keep on keeping on, and hoping for the best.