iPhone photo. Replaced after proper archiving.
She was tough, loving and complicated. Her computer screen saver said “LOVE RULES.” These paintings are love letters. And I will continue making them until they stop demanding to be made. The hell with decorative painting.
It is a dark time for me now. I feel a great deal of grief. A year ago exactly, my late wife Suzanne decided to stop her battle against cancer. Hemangiopericytoma. Nine years. She didn’t go to treatment that day, or ever again. I know I have posted the DEATH PAINTINGS before, perhaps all of them. I don’t know if I posted this gouache I painted just after her vertebrectomy in 2004.
Today was the Winter Solstice. Mehr Licht.
When I was a young art student at the Museum School in the 70’s, I was moping down the hall one day, depression blaring from my every cell. I admit it was because I could not get my latest obsession du jour to do the horizontal mambo with me, but my mentor and friend John Thompson, Dean of Students, was unaware of that.
Dean Thompson assumed rather that I was troubled by a dip in my creative output. He took me into his office and said, “Jonathan, when others are lying in the park watching the clouds go by, they are goofing off. When you do it, you are working! Remember that every artist needs fanny time as much as hand time.” Those words, exactly.
In this dark December, the first after the death of my wife, I look at my studio, devoid of new work for a month or so, and remember John Thompson’s words. I know I am still in process on both the DEAD SUZANNE and the new MASTURBATION paintings. I’ll post some sketches I’ve just completed when I shoot them.