It is no secret that our soul climate on any given day can be reflected in the expressions of our soul—be they in the form of a poem, a song, or a painting. For this reason, counsellors who work with children will pay considerable attention to the “climate” of a child’s art.
I normally spend from 20 to 30 hours a week at my palette. A few days ago I realized that my work was becoming “dark”—not in subject matter, but in actual hue and tone. Skies were murky. Water was muddy, and mountains were drab rather than sparkling. There has been a distinct absence of sunlight, moonlight, and fleecy clouds in recent renderings. I didn’t need to look far afield for the answer to this puzzle; in fact it really wasn’t a puzzle at all. Two weeks ago a family member was diagnosed with cancer. Hence my paintings have darkened.
So three days ago I decided, this will never do. I am not a “dark” person—although I love dark skin, and “work hard” to obtain it in the summer! I have passion for light, and so does my loved one who has cancer. There is no way I can help her (or myself) through the days and weeks ahead by “painting dark”!
Now things are looking up in every way. The cancer is Stage II, and it is believed that chemo will not be needed after surgery. And I’ve pivoted my palette, paper, and paints back to the light. The above print depicts a subject I love—a swamp, in this case a “March Swamp” with the sap of life rising above melting snow.
And below you will see another subject of love and light—one that may be wearing you viewers out because I feature it so often:
“Living on the Patio with Iced Tea”
Margaret L. Been, 2013