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colour mappng life as an artist Jan 16, 2024

January 16, 2024

The blog post I thought I would write upon my return from Maui vanished into thin air upon my return to my home in New Jersey. While in Hawaii, I wasn't checking weather conditions in New Jersey.  I was oblivious to the fact that torrential rain had caused my basement studio and filming office to be flooded with 6" of water. The loss of a lifetime of artwork is only partially from the 6" flood.  It is mainly from poor human decisions.  Had I known of the disaster, I would have taken the next plane home.  Instead, three days passed giving the water in the drenched rugs to be wicked into paintings, books, sketchbooks and treasured art books.  My loss, however, is nothing compared to the people of Lahaina who lost absolutely EVERYTHING in the recent fire.

The Hyatt Regency just beyond the fire damage in Lahaina is housing a large number of the displaced townspeople as well as their pets.  I was at the Hyatt because my dear friend, Maria Spillane, is a National Vice President in Arbonne and she often takes me as her guest to the annual NVP trip to Maui.  Arbonne organized one of our days for all of us to help build Playhouses for displaced children, put together backpacks of school supplies as well as suitcases of towels and toiletries for a multitude of the displaced victims of the fire.  Little did I know that I, too, would experience the shock of loss ... though minuscule in comparison.

I am still processing my feelings, my thoughts, my emotions ... my grief, anger and fury ... my gratitude toward my children and dear friends who have and are helping me through this period of saving whatever I can from the damage of water and the already growing mold spores.  Many paintings that don't appear to be terribly damaged hold the ever-ready mold spores that make them unsafe for any home or museum. Those, too, will be sacrificed to the dumpster.

Along with the weight of the loss is a bizarre feeling of weightlessness, of a burden removed from me, a door opening into a world and an existence filled with possibility and heightened creativity. I am amazed at my own resilience.  This is definitely not the first time I've had to reinvent myself and it most likely won't be the last.

Surprisingly, most of my PAC series, I believe has survived.  Many of my small, matted pieces have also survived.  When I saw that the drawing I did of Alexis playing the piano, many years ago, escaped harm, it brought a burst of joy to my heart. 

I'm already beginning to see a brighter future in spite of a heart that feels filled with lead.


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