...have been greatly exaggerated...whew! Five months can just fly right by when health issues rise up to steal away time and energy. Overall, I think Blogger is a great service but every time I thought about sitting at the computer, scanning, resizing, archiving, uploading, editing code, typing and...oh...trying to be witty...I suddenly found something much more entertaining to do.
I had what was supposed to be a "simple" foot surgery in mid-March to remove a benign tumor. Note to self: Don't listen to surgeons! I've been battling my way back to health day-by-day and and I am, by no means, where I need or want to be. Explaining all the complications would require several posts full of boring and depressing medical explanations so suffice it to say that much more than my foot has been affected as pre-existing chronic conditions responded to a drastic increase in pain and decrease in mobility.
However, as with all hardships, there is a bright side; I have turned to art more than ever to comfort and heal my spirit, even if my physical self is in complete rebellion. My "5 Squares A Day" project took a (perhaps predictable) nosedive into obilivion but I found that something very positive came of the attempt: I am, indeed, making art EVERY day...it's just that I'm not working on the inch-by-inch canvas. If I am not creating samples for a full and healthy teaching schedule (my students, kids and adults alike, have been very gracious in adjusting to the changes I've needed to make in my teaching style), I have been journaling my surgery experience and for the first time in at least five years, I have once again taken up painting. While I am still not able to paint at an easel (a long term goal of mine), I am able to paint in repeated short bursts. It is incredibly meditative and I can easily get lost in the work. It is escapist behavior at its best.
I've been working feverishly on a series of canvases using Chinese folk art designs, multi-layered, transparent backgrounds, and Golden Fluid acrylics. The backgrounds take a bit of time but are really a test of patience more than anything else. (It really is essential to let each layer completely dry before moving on.) Once I get to painting the actual image, I need uninterrupted time to sit and paint in one complete session as my mixes (sometimes up to ten in a single image) will dry on the palette as I go. I am practicing blending one color smoothly into the next, often working two or more brushes at the same time (one for each mixture) and a dry brush in my teeth to ease the color transitions.
The image posted today is an 18 by 18 inch gallery wrapped canvas of a phoenix, symbol in China of the Empress and representive of the "yin" or female half of Yin Yang (the dragon is its counterpart). This piece is entitled "Empress Rising." I thought this image would be particularly relevant given today's resurrection of my oft-neglected blog and was painted in comtemplation of my desire to rise from the ashes of my chronic conditions and become someone healthier and happier.