Golden orbs, fallen suns, dead sons… war settles disputes by killing.
Photo snapped by cell phone fails to show details.
This was my last completed acrylic painting, pure emotion on canvas board, raw with anquish over my nephew being sent to war. The year was… oh, I can’t look to see as it is not here… it hangs at Metamorphosis.
I wrung myself out painting, pouring everything out: grief for the fallen, my fears for our nation’s children and not just my nephew.
Okay, so I have a hard time picturing the little kids who played tag in my yard, or took my daughter to a dance, as all grown up Army and Navy men, or her half-brother as a big bad Marine. In my memories, he is still a little boy with a goofy ass grin trying to catch a plastic fish with a toy pole in a kiddie swimming pool. Every time I turned around, someone else’s child was being sent to Iraq and for what? Another Vietnam?
In my anger over war, I stirred up a liquid mix to dry in the color of dried blood and scratched in words, the truth of it all: war settles disputes by killing.
I hated it, could not stand to look at it, and turned it to the wall. Time passed. I finally framed it and hung it where I could forget about it, as I knew what was on the other side every time I saw it leaning. Yet, at the same time, I could not toss it out with the trash.
Then one day, while I was talking on the phone, I glanced at it and whoa… what the hell did I paint?
It was like seeing it for the first time… with my emotions not so raw. I saw my nephews face, many faces and other things… started showing it to people who came by and different people saw different things (you really have to look at it in person). My father can see representations from every war our country has ever fought, points out a revolutionary man sitting at a desk, boys in a fox hole. He sees things that I don’t see, or didn’t until he showed me.
It sickens some people. Some vets are drawn to it. People love it or hate it, with no in-between.
It was my last acrylic painting as I could not paint any more. I tried, started things that I couldn’t finish, and time dried paints up in the tubes. My favorite brand of paints, Winsor & Newton’s Finity, was discontinued when they introduced a new line. I found other means to express myself creatively, took up colored pencils, mosaics, leather tooling, whatever. I played with watercolours and gouche, but that is on paper, so not the same.
The desire to paint again started coming back ye around the time Fallen Suns was hung on display at Metamorphosis. Maybe I had to show it? Maybe I need to sell it, to let it go? A cool grand was suggested as the price, but I would consider a decent offer. How much is a set of Winsor & Newton’s new line of paints, an easel, some canvas? If I could get enough to set myself up with paints again, oh yeah… I would let it go.
I know I never painted anything like that before and will never be able to paint anything like that again. I don’t want to ever feel those same raw emotions again.
If you want to see this painting in person, wander into Metamorphosis at 2 State St, Struthers, Ohio. Their posted open to the public hours are: Monday 8 to 10 pm (poetry night), Thursdays 6:45-8:30 pm and Saturdays 6:30-10 pm (open studio nights). Artist members have 24 hr access to the shared studio space so there are people there at other times, a private viewing could be arranged if those hours are not good for you.
Yes, I plug Meta, I plug my art… but I do not sell online. I just want people to see it.
Thanks for viewing my art!