"Social Distancing on the Davidson Mesa"
This work captures the openness of the mesa, the feeling of freedom and an escape from isolation. Community members are wearing masks and keeping their distance. It also shows how heavy foot traffic has broadened the trail by about 3 feet on both sides. This is not good for that natural grasses. However, I feel it represents the respect and concern people are showing for others. It represents the fear individuals have for their own safety. It represents honoring the 6 foot distance. Although the painting doesn't specifically show this, the mesa also provides an opportunity for social interaction while keeping your distance. As a frequent walker on the mesa, I have had welcomed safe unexpected conversations with people I know. I also receive give friendly greetings to everyone I pass. The Davidson Mesa is helping me and many others keep their sanity! This work is also Recovery Art 15, at this time I was still walking up to 3 miles with my cane. Now, I have cut back the distance to correct bad habits I have taught myself while trying to learn how to walk again. My goal is to strengthen my muscles, to continue to heal the bone, to listen to my physical therapist and to learn to walk again cane free! Look closely and you can see 6 foot me with my cane!
The coronavirus has me painting almost every day. Painting is my personal therapy and way to cope with changes in my life and to actually learn how I am feeling. Through painting, I discover the feelings I often bury. The spread of the virus is now creating stories mingled with the stories of my personal recovery from a broken leg and my strong desire to be able to walk, ride and hike again.
"First Face Mask Walk on the Mesa - Recovery Art 14"
2020"First Face Mask Walk on the Mesa" captures myself coping with the pandemic and our governor's order to Stay at Home, social distance and his strong recommendation to wear a face mask. It was a wonderful when my neighbor, Viki, surprised me with a face mask she sewed herself. Wearing this mask not only made me feel safer, but also made me feel like I was showing others I cared about their safety, too. On this walk, it was comforting to see so many others wearing masks. I felt a sense of togetherness, a united front, as we adjusted to the changes brought on by the pandemic.
This painting is also Recovery Art 14 for me. I was in a freak cycling accident in Florida, January 22 and my femoral head exploded. Shortly after returning to my best friend, Michael's Florida home, I started painting the Recovery Art series as therapy and to tell the story of my recovery. Painting was helping me deal with my inability to walk, hike and ride. This work represents being further along in the recovery process and an additional need for painting therapy.....the coronavirus.
Without the pandemic, I know that I would be painting small recovery paintings. However, once returning home, March 3, forty- ones days after my original flight back to Colorado and at the start of recognizing the seriousness of the virus; I decided to finish a visually uplifting colorful sunrise painting. I needed something suggestive of new possibilities and hope. I was just learning to walk with a cane. Finishing the challenging and very active sky in that painting was happening as the Stay At home order was given. Life will never be the same and to me, a sunrise suggests new possibilities and to find at least one thing in everyday that makes you happy. "Sunrise on 129th Street, Colorado Springs" helped me to stay positive. For personal therapy for both my recovery and the pandemic, I have been painting almost nonstop. I know I tend to bury my feelings and painting helps me to confront my feelings. I needed something calming. I started a larger canvas painting from a Florida photo I had taken when parks and hiking trails were still open and life seemed normal. Unusual for me, I started and completed the face mask painting in the midst of working on this larger serene canvas painting. My paintings continue to tell life's new stories. I try to find the positive. I never thought life would ever be like this.