Thursday, February 1, 2018

Downtown

Downtown, 8x10 inches, oil

This is my most recent small painting, a very stylized view of downtown Janesville.  I don't often paint landscapes, but I was playing with applying filters to some of my reference photos, and decided I rather liked this view. It's not very big, more of a study really.  I enjoyed the simplified shapes and intensified colors here, though whether it's great art or not I do not know.  Actually I do know.

I spent most of January finishing up my radiation treatments here in town, and then doing a series of four more treatments in Madison.  I am happy to report that they seem to have gone well, and that I am feeling very well and my hair is regrowing, although it is very short.  I'm still wearing a cap most of the time, just to keep warm.  I am reassured though, that I am not destined to be bald forever.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Winter Bridge

21x21 inches, oil on canvas
Winter Bridge

I finished this painting yesterday.  It had been close to done for more than two weeks, but I just ignored it until I realized that it was quietly driving me a little crazy sitting there unfinished.  The subject matter is the Japanese bridge at out local botanical garden.  I took the winter photo several years ago, but then experimented with altering the original photo with a filter program, and cropping the image to a square format.  I painted from the altered photo, and was pleased with the results.  This painting is larger than I usually work, and a departure from figurative work. I'll take it to the gallery tomorrow.

Monday, January 1, 2018


It's the first day of 2018, New Years day.  The holidays are officially over, and I had my birthday on Friday and have made it to sixty-seven years.  Today is the day I traditionally begin taking down Christmas decorations, or at least the tree.  I sometimes leave up the lights on the fireplace mantle, just because I like their glow on dark evenings.

Although the television news and the papers are full of the year in review and tips on making resolutions, I have trouble looking back over the past year, partly because of political developments that I find distressing, and all the violence and natural disasters, but mostly because of my cancer diagnosis.  Apart from undergoing major surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, suddenly it seems that every movie I see and every novel or magazine article I read has someone dying of cancer.  It's difficult not to struggle mentally with thoughts of my own mortality, though I try to wake up every day glad to be alive and hoping to make the most of it.

I suppose that is my new years resolution - to appreciate every day and try to make the most of it. I used to wonder what I might do different in my life if I knew it would end soon.  So far the answer is, not too much.  I try to be loving to my family and friends, and to do the things that give me pleasure.  I read, watch movies, do some work on Find a Grave for Oak Hill cemetery here in town, and spend some time making art.  I eat and drink whatever agrees with me.  I sleep as much as I need to.  I make plans, but try not to get too upset if they don't work out.

Right now I am looking forward to the end of radiation treatments, which should happen by the middle of January.  If they were effective, I hope we can do a little traveling, something I have missed since having so many medical appointments. I also am happily anticipating my hair getting long enough to provide some warmth on my head.  In the meantime I am happy to have my eyebrows back.

Happy New Year to you.