Wednesday, August 9, 2017
The Wall - First Reaction
Here is a video of The Wall when I realized it was finished. I've been working on this piece for three years.During the time when I was creating The Wall, where I started and where I ended up were influenced by what was happening in the world. From terrorism to great acts of heroism, all of these things made there way into The Wall.
Originally, I wanted to do a large piece and I wanted to do what I wanted to do. A completely stream of consciousness piece. I decided to create eight canvases and just go for it.
I always give myself an assignment. I like learning new things and doing this also helps me to focus. The idea was to have a horse and a turtle in the painting. They were going to be part of a large landscape and that was about as far as I got with it. I wanted to use any and all techniques and I wanted to go with the flow.
The terrorist attack that happened in Paris in November 2015 was devastating. My heart broke for Paris that day. As I listened to NPR this sadness came into the painting. And I thought... how long? I wondered what it is about people that they just feel justified to kill people who think differently? This has been going on for so long.
And then I asked.... what is it? What makes that sudden stop before a person decides to react to a situation with violence or compassion? And that sudden stop made its way into the painting.
The nightclub attack in Orlando, Florida happened in June of 2016.
Terrorist attacks took place in London and Manchester and I stopped thinking and just felt so much pain and suffering and that made its way into the painting.
The people at Standing Rock, being intimidated and brutalized because they didn't want the gas pipeline to run under the water they depended on for a healthy life sickened me. How could these private militias treat other peaceful people who just don't want their land and all that rely on fresh, unpolluted water, destroyed was unconscionable.
I had started the painting listening to Kenny Chesney and Trisha Yearwood and the last year and a half or so I listened to Robbie Robertson and Schindler's List and Leonard Cohen. Because of my Traumatic Brain Injury I can't really plan or remember what I was doing or what colors I was using when I stop painting. Everytime I face the canvas it is like I am looking at it for the first time. I discovered that listening to music could take me back to where I was emotionally and find my way back into the canvas.
And then something happened. Hope began to stir in my heart and I realized, hope and love, these are life choices. How we live and the choices we make are a direct reflection of what we value.
It took three years to save up the money for the canvases and paints and brushes and do studies and paint The Wall. The Wall is a 6' x 9' Oil on Canvases. And now it is finished.