Saturday, February 14, 2009

Figure Study

Figure Study #6
acrylic on canvas-16X20 unframed
work in progress 14 February 2009

Unlike some artists Dawn is not starving. Like many, she works a day job. She cares for the elderly as an activities director and is a certified elder care specialist with credentials to dispense medical prescriptions and OTC meds. She is one of three people designated as support staff which gives her the dubious distinction of being on-call alternate weekends and some weekdays. When something goes wrong, Dawn is there.

The position of activities director is a challenging task of providing quality of life experiences for the residents. Her fine arts background and creative knack for arts and crafts intrigues the seniors under her care. The most recent holiday-Valentine's Day-Dawn had the residents use their skills to decorate sugar cookies. Afternoon teas, special guests performances, lectures by well known writers and the usual array of pumpkin carving, tree decorating, garden planting make the lives of the elderly in the assisted living facility in the town nearest Kickapoo Center more than just card playing and TV viewing. It doesn't leave much time for Dawn. Many of her projects carry on into the evening where she provides the basics for the next day's activity.

There's been a gap from Figure Study #7 and this current work. For relaxation, Dawn knits. She's currently making herself a bulky cable knit sweater. I tease her that the sweater will keep her warm in June. When she announced that she had an idea for a painting , I was mildly amused.

Watching a DVD movie, Dawn asks, "Have you looked at my painting?" I made some off hand comment, since I avoid the studio in the colder months. It has a separate heating system in addition to two tiny heat ducts from the wood/propane furnace. The previous owner complained of exorbitant electric bills. The real estate brokers showing the house when it was on the market would fiddle with the separate electric thermostat in the studio. The owner would come to check on the vacant house to find the studio at over 90 degrees in the summer. I learned the wall thermostat was defective when entertaining a crew one Saturday night. The house was steamy. The heat in the main portion of the house was at it's normal miserly setting. I replaced the thermostat. Since 2005 the electric heat has never been used.

So I'm heading for dangerous territory. It's not good to ignore your wife. Then, a few days later I glance at her easel. The painting is transformed from a shocking statement of color into a mysterious abstract figure study of unusual hue. In a very short period of time, Dawn has taken an inspiration to completion. The abstract nature of the work provides the underlying theme of all the works I exhibit in my on-line art gallery.
Art with feeling and presence.


Laura Jayne said...

Stark and beautiful. Amazing painting, I love it.

Roger A. Gavrillo said...

My wife was pleased regarding the favorable comment from Laura Jayne re: figure study #6. Her comment(she's economical when it comes to wordsmithing)was "great". Thanks. RG