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.