Friday 4 December 2009

A Quiet Day. Thinking Of Next Week for a nail biting account of being an Artist and Mother, from my studio for my website to email me

I am very quiet today. I finished the poems by Maddy and A Pook that had to be painted onto wood, and they look dignified and good. The large Christ Head (not sure if that is the correct title) is mostly done but needs some touches in gold on the dark blue. It needs to dry a bit before I can do that, this blue takes time and has a life of its own. The head is very beautiful and very striking. Maybe because it is so much bigger than life size, and any head bigger than life size is unnerving. The gold on the halo is lovely though.

The wine for the Opening Night is bought. The people to help are sorted. There is not much else to do. Except of course to paint. I could go next door (my studio has an office attached and this is where I do all my computer and PR work) to the studio, smelling as it does of white spirit and oils, and paint another image to go into the exhibition. I had thought of something along the lines of "The Final Angel" and it is working quietly in my mind so that I can make something of it.

The exhibition is about the final journey to the end of life. It is based on my experience. It has not been easy to paint, but so worth while. I am proud of the paintings. I am proud that I have done what was so hard to do, and to have begun a debate that, it seems, is rumbling below the surface of most peoples' lives. Those who dedicate their lives to Palliative care and End of Life care, have so much to offer us. Death will happen to us all, you will die and I will die. That is when those who are called to work in this area are ready to help. This is why I asked for you to donate to the two hospices that are supporting me. St Barnabas House Hospice danced Steve out of his life. St Wilfrids Hospice is the local hospice in this area and have lent me the most wonderful cd of an interview with one of their patients, describing how afraid he was when he came into the hospice. He called the nurses and carers Practice Angels. And how now he is not afraid, but so peaceful. This man has since died, and it is very brave and kind of his partner to allow the interview to be heard in my exhibition.

Some people are extremely uncomfortable with these paintings, and others have been inspired. My friends include journalists and writers and there is much to debate and discuss with the paintings of a real person as they end their life, with the dignity and peace and wonder that has no explanation. One of my writer friends is keen to write about the process of approaching death for her newspaper, and that is what I want to see happen. Discussion, talk, conversation, debate, opinions. I have had huge experiences with the loss of Steve, with the painting of the pictures, and the reactions to them. I wouldn't have done it differently even if I had had the opportunity. What I have learned has been invaluable and life affirming. So even though I am quiet today, I am happy.

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