I spent the morning pulling a drawing out of its frame, to photograph and to clean up. Getting it ready for its new home.
A few years ago I did a series of works based on the 7 deadly sins and the 4 Cardinal virtues. The series is called “The World Stage, a play in Finite Acts.”
I was planning to focus only on the virtues. Beginning to research and define them, I realized they made no sense without an understanding of the sins. Soon I began the long process of studying, sketching…and yes…even conversing with people, both the virtuous and the sinful!
I read numerous books including Dante’s Inferno, where I directly interpreted Envy. Completed, it was a disturbing drawing, and my favorite. I looked at various artist including Heronymous Bosch’s Seven Deadly Sins, and Mauricio Lasansky‘s work. When it came to the virtues – I chose to focus on Prudence, Fortitude, Justice and Temperance – as it is on these four that all the others hinge.
This is my second drawing of this virtue. I’m partial to it. The text around the image reads: Fortitude, the brave man suffers injury not for its own sake, but rather as a means to preserve or to acquire a deeper more essential intactness for the sake of good. Be Brave!
My feeling about the virtue of Fortitude and/or Courage is that without it, we can’t complete our life’s real work. Change and challenge are a constant. I think of the courage it takes to create ones life, and for completing other sorts of goals…like hand standing…you know… in yoga.
Yogi friend Patricia, shared with me (very unexpectedly) a few days ago that the work mesmerized her. She first saw it back in October…and all these months later she’s still thinking about it. That’s a compliment to the work. Pat is no stranger to courage. She’s a Hospice Nurse who deals with death and dying. She says…yes, it’s a choice but I think sometimes it chooses *you.* Working with death and dying gives much opportunity to contemplate this. Inside and out. Being an artist. Being a nurse. Doing hand stands. All require fortitude, which to me is a willingness to turn oneself inside out. You have to trust yourself. It isn’t easy.
It isn’t easy, but it’s necessary and worthwhile. Fortitude appears to have made a choice. Namaste Pat.
Monica….You write well.
And yes, this business of making art does indeed take fortitude and courage. There are days…. as I move around the Phoenix area i can barely look at the world. I don’t want to see the sadness, the cruelty. etc.. But I am learning that to cut my willingness to look causes me to miss the profound goodness as well. So typically it seems we are left with the bitter and the sweet. Your work is inspiring as well as your courage.
Thanks Catherine, for the thoughtful comment.
I am so blessed to have Fortitude in my home. She is the last thing I see before I sleep, and my first sight on waking. Thank you, Monica, for bringing her into form. She’s beautiful!
What a kind comment to receive… means allot to me. I’m happy she’s appreciated in this way. Thanks so much Pat.