Confluence of Disciplines

Sometimes you can just answer a simple question with the first honest – and incomplete – answer.

Here’s my monthly mailing that explains why art forms can be so interwoven.

The Speed of Light

House - by James Youse - about 8x10, watermedia

House – by James Youse – about 8×10, watermedia

For the last three years I’ve created a painting for Alzheimer’s Association for the fundraising – and one of the interesting aspects of this is that I get to do a painting in response to the painting of an Alzheimer’s patient.  This year I happened to be in San Diego around the time they started this year’s project, so I was able to see all the available patient’s artwork instead of a small selection of images emailed to me because I’m so far away.

Many paintings spoke to me, but one spoke louder.  I am very aware when looking at these pieces of artwork of the decline of life of the artists, and this aspect alone significantly alters my response.  The painting is by James Youse, and is on the right.  It is simply titled ‘House’ – and is on the right above, but the part that struck me was the difference between the house and its reflection in the water.  My initial urge to respond was with a poem, which I did, and then created a refractured watercolor, including the poem on the painting.

    The Speed of Light.

At the edge, after my day is done,
sense of fulfillment resting in my heart,
my body’s atoms coming all apart,
returning to the dirt from where they’ve come
I’ll stop, before I dip these aching toes
into the water of the after life
(my soul arrived before the speed of light –
I don’t know how, but that’s the way it goes),
So I can see the breadth, the depth, the height
I leave behind, before my dive will break
the surface and destroy what others take
to memory, being slower still than light.
The vision in that lake will, by and by
return to stillness, leaving only sky.

The Speed of Light. Refractured watercolor with poem on float panel, 8.5x28.5"

The Speed of Light. Refractured watercolor with poem on float panel, 8.5×28.5″

The song in your heart

"When the Morning Comes".  Refractured watercolor on wraparound panel.  24"x30". $1260

“When the Morning Comes”. Refractured watercolor on wraparound panel. 24″x30″. $1260

Today my cd player went the way of all things mechanical and my wonderfully adept neighbor, George, rescued a cd from the clutches of its half-open jaws for what I swear will be the last time.  It is now a one-cd player without a front cover, rather than a three-cd player.  iPod purchase, here I come.  I actually ‘inherited’ the cd player about seven years ago when my then boyfriend got a job on the east coast and when he packed, we both forgot he left it at my house – so I sure got value for money out of it…

When I went to pick up my new trash item, George and Christina (his girlfriend) and I sat chatting for a while and somehow the conversation got round to death sentences.  Christina said she wouldn’t like to get a state funeral – you don’t get to choose your song. We also bemoaned the difficulties of health care and dental expenses, and the joys of aging.  Gums receding like the tide, hairlines disappearing into the sunset and joints sticking with every change in the weather, like cds sticking in a player, or songs sticking in your head.

Fortunately the cd player’s last song before it croaked was one of my favorites – by a band called Bliss – for whom I sadly can find only the one cd.   The last couple of lines of the song are ‘When the morning comes, Will you remember my name?’. The song is so stuck in my head, I’m going to name the painting I completed today ‘When the morning comes…’