Kristin’s Valentine to Life
I painted this portrait of my friend Kristin. I am constantly inspired by her and feel so fortunate to be her friend. Below is her description of her struggles but also, I hope, a testament to what she has overcome.
Was very ill and had several unsuccessful surgeries. Gradually lost ability to walk, developed cerebellum damage, and went into organ failure. After a final life-saving surgery in 2014, have been in recovery, relearning how to walk and function. Because was so ill, recovery included developing epilepsy. Very frequent seizures caused further damage in left temporal lobe, making it impossible to continue 12-year career in international development and so changed careers. Currently an LMT in WV.
For me, sometimes things are more beautiful in process than they are finished. It’s about their potential. When I’m working on something I don’t know how it is going to turn out in the end. Sure, I have an idea and I might even be trying to emulate something I see. But there are endless decisions in the process of making art, and painting and drawing allow a lot of spontaneity.
Eugene is my elephant. He has been with me since before college which says a lot because college was 12 years ago. It’s possible that he came in a happy meal. The print above was his first appearance in my work. It was an assignment for my printmaking class at Drew and I think I was having a very hard time deciding what to make images of in that class. That is the foundation of my relationship with this stuffed elephant. I draw him when I have no idea about what to draw…and squares sometimes.
Now Eugene has his own shelf in my studio. He sits right behind where I paint my pictures, quietly. He makes appearances on my instagram account on occasion too.
Recently I’ve been lucky enough to work with some private schools including my alma mater, Sandy Spring Friends School. I just did a couple of paintings for them. I’m hoping to capture the spirit of the school or at least the sense that I got of it while I was there. Below are the paintings.