I did a bunch of paintings “in the basement,” a temporary space where I thought I’d work until I sorted out my studio situation. One day I just couldn’t see. No matter how much light I installed, I just could not “see.” Imagine coming out of an over-chlorinated pool with eyes burning, and sight blurry.I realized all the work I had done in the basement felt “strained.” I was missing all the nuances in observing a face. Although I still like the paintings as art, I do not feel they expressed what I wanted to say about my subject — now that I am painting in natural light. So I am repainting some of the subjects. Gen Rodrigez is one of those people. Read Gen’s full healthcare story here. I don’t need to tell you which one was done in the basement.
I got to know this subject, and realized I had not captured the beauty of a young resilient spirit who displays such grace, humor, and hope in the face of serious health problems. So I did a second painting. It did not help that I painted the first one in the basement. Ilana’s full healthcare story is here. You can tell which one I painted in natural light.
Poor Fred. He started as a basement painting that was so overworked I had to abandon the painting. (left) No soul left in it. Without proper light, I kept putting brush to canvas one too many times. Next, out of the basement and into the light, I painted version #2 of Fred. He looked about 125 years old. I couldn’t put that painting in the Art As Social Inquiry project. Fred is still vital although he has had his struggles. So I painted version #3. I love the last version. Yeah, it’s quirky, I know. But I like it.