This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.
I have worked on this commission for most of the last 3 weeks. Normally I don’t do this kind of work that fast, I tell Terri yesterday when I deliver the completed, though unframed, large work on paper. I enjoyed it and I struggled with it. In general my drawing is changing, I am including much more information, if I can figure it out.
There are things about this composition I don’t normally set up to do – like a smiling face. Because I told Terri to stand in a natural way and she stood firm, bright-eyed, strong, chin up and she smiled, I worked very hard to get the face just right – eyes, smile and all.
Here are a few progressive shots of it:
I wish I could take that, Terri points to all the internal anatomy in the artwork, and place it here, inside me – she points to her chest. It came from you, I say as I laugh. She nods and repeats herself, I wish I could bring that inside me, now. That’s a great thing to hear.
This is an anatomy study , it’s a study of an energetic system, it’s Terri. And Terri has brain cancer.
I ask if she is okay with me sharing all this. She nods her head – Yes, I am. I ask a few more times. I feel protective. But whom am I protecting, I wonder. Terri is accepting of her life. Her son, who is present, agrees – she’s accepting it all! Terri is forthcoming about where she finds herself, and she’s at peace. I see it in her expression. I hear it in her voice. She tells me she’s had 3 other cancers – of the colon, in the sacrum, in the lungs, and now – the brain.
I consider the physical body a lot these days, as I immerse myself in these anatomy studies. The body serves a great purpose, it holds the spirit. As human beings we live and connect with it and through it.
I prefer to use medical terminology when I title a work. This could be different, it is a human body, a female front body, from head to hips. It is a Study of a Human Female Body, Anterior View. But I am thinking of another title, a sub-title, something like – Inside me, Inside you.
Thanks again Terri. It’s been some assignment to study your spirit – strong-willed and so directed.
The work is casein, gesso and graphite on cream Arches paper, 36″ x 25″
The blog posts titled No Woman is an Island acknowledge the people and/or organizations who support me and the work I do.
The art in this post connects to another work completed in 2012. Terri and Patricaia traveled to Italy recently and upon their return, drove to California and married.
wonderful project, and deeply wise and sensitive reflections, Monica
hey thanks alison – means a lot coming from you.