This is the first painting, called "Anger" which took the better part of a year to paint. These paintings are not intended to be universal; they are my emotions, and many symbols and images are from my dreams, my thoughts and feelings.
This one is "Fear". It has many references to death and various fears I have and presaged, in a very spooky way, the life altering event that came to me unexpectedly when we lost our entire retirement savings.
That event caused our unplanned move to Florida where we owned a home. I went to Rhode Island to close my gallery and studio, sell most of our furniture, art supplies, and a huge amount of stuff, while frantically finishing the Fear painting, which I knew I could never duplicate anywhere else. The rest of the series may be seen on my website: http://www.gainor.biz/index_files/feelingseries.htm
I was unaware that I was going to have to start over in Florida and it proved to be demoralizing, as well as massively confusing. I had not worked for anyone else since 1977! I had to find work, my husband began to have serious health problems, and the lightning bolt hit me before I knew what had happened. It has been seven years. I could find work, and I could teach painting, but things were so different here. In Rhode Island I could easily fill a 5-day painting workshop. Here, they laughed at me if I suggested a painting class to be more than 2 or 3 hours.
The big derailment was the Feeling Series. The sheer size of them was daunting in my 10 x 12 spare bedroom studio. I used to work on them for 8 to 12 hours at a stretch, for weeks at a time. Now having time to paint for a whole day was not possible. Ever. How could I find the focus again? I worked for a brief time in a dreadful place that operated on shame. It brought up so many feelings and I thought "now is the time to start the Feeling Series again." I all ready knew what imagery I was going to use for the Shame Painting. So it got set up in this tiny studio 3 years ago! It has been mocking and shaming me every time I go in and out of my studio, seeing it there, ready to go, the canvas blank and turned against the wall.
On January 1st I made several resolutions. One was to either start the next Feeling Series painting or close the series at 7 paintings. I originally planned 12. It has been a daily affair of meditation, invocations, talks to myself, and talks with trusted friends and confidants, and finally the leap off the cliff happened last Sunday. It was exhausting. I not worked on a 48 x 36 inch canvas for a long time. My arm and shoulder hurt from reaching. My back hurts all the time anyway, but after lowering and raising the canvas numerous times it hurt much worse. I wanted to sit, but the energy needed me to stand.
It has begun...finally. I know I am up to the technical aspects of the painting; you don't forget those things. But I worry about the focus, the energy level, the commitment of time, and how to finagle my life around such limited resources of time and money. At one time I considered applying for a grant to finish these paintings, but was afraid that on the outside chance I got one I didn't know for sure I could fulfill the commitment. I am still not sure I can fulfill the commitment, but at least I don't have to pay back a grant!
So...one day at a time I will continue to wrestle with Shame. Check back for reports. I hope there will be reports, because that will mean there will be some progress.