I stopped doing artwork when my husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer in April 2018. I couldn’t seem to work in my studio, focusing on him took all my energy and attention. Sixteen months later, August 2019, Bill was gone. And I still couldn’t work, still in shock and deeply mourning.
So, it was not a surprise to me that when I did start working again, almost two years to the day we learned Bill had cancer, my work was very different. You see, what I’ve discovered to be true over these many years as an artist, is that when I am blocked from working for whatever reason, when I return, it’s like the Phoenix rising up.
This first gourd rather took me by surprise. I had the idea, the tools to make it happen (a Proxxon jigsaw, Proxxon grinder, and a Micro Pro by Mastercarver that uses Dremel bits) for drilling the filagree.
I’ve done burning on gourds before, but nothing like this new work.
Three different views of the first gourd I ever worked on. With over twenty-years of Chinese Brush Painting experience and my lifelong love of trees and mountains, I tend to approach new art projects from that place of comfort and knowledge, it’s; what I know the best.
What I am really missing as I continue with this new work, presently working on the fifth gourd, is the excitement Bill used to share with me over my work. There were many times during our 36+ year marriage when he talked about not being able to figure out where my ideas came from. He would watch me work, scratch his head, and ask, ‘how did you come up with that?’, or ‘I just watched you do that and I still can’t figure out how you did it.’