A little update and some context

I have begun a new painting. It’s 18″ x 24″. It’s the same pattern that I show cut in wood in my last post. Cutting a stencil worked well and I was able to get my design onto the board.  It might not sound like much, but to me it’s a milestone that offers many new possibilities for working larger and with different materials. That’s exciting, since the past couple of years have been a long trial and error process of finding mediums and materials I could successfully work with.  Before that I was doing programming and web design work.. and before that cooking…

But a couple of years ago was significant in that it was when I watched my mother finally succumb to the cancer she had fought for nearly 15 years.  And that’s relevant here because, though I’d started exploring these designs on my own, I finished the first ones for her, then.  Not as fully colored images, but as ‘blanks” (as I call them), just outlines with no fill or shading, so she could color them herself.

It started when I brought the first ones with me on a visit.  The night before I returned home we sat together and talked, and colored together. I didn’t know that would be my last ‘normal’ visit I’d ever have with her. We both enjoyed coloring that night. But she really got into it after I left.  Over the next 4 or 5 months she did a whole bunch of them. I sent her files so she could print blanks from her computer. I did a couple too, and it was nice to work away from the computer, using my hands on paper. That’s where my return to art began in earnest.

So, the pattern on my new board is a milestone in another way. It’s the first one I’ve made since I had to start over.  You see, all my previous work was lost when I had a hard-drive fail. All the original designs, the one’s I’d prepared for my mother and that became “Patterns of Integration” are gone.  Luckily I know how I made them and can make more, but those exact patterns are unlikely to ever be repeated.