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Oil Painting on Canvas (23″ x 27″)


Like ‘Between Two Worlds’, the painting ‘In The Thicket Of It’ began its life more than a decade and a half ago before illness had cloaked over me and my world become stunted where nothing could flourish. The canvas’s surface began with mica flakes all over sparkling glints of light from its surface. As years slipped me away from my paintings it was killing me in a different way and not kindly.

One day I dragged myself from my darkened bedroom and I stood before the canvas looking at the glints of light, then I painted over them thickly with oil paint I’d mixed with ground mica flakes I’d mixed within. It gave the paint more luminescence as I painted over flickers of light that were now no more. Then the canvas remained in limbo over the years, along with my other works in progress and canvases stretched and primed just waiting for me to come back, that prospect became increasingly unlikely when multiple seizures day and night kept getting worse.

It wasn’t until I was hospitalized for the third time and with a different neurologist who began unthreading my multiple symptoms in multiple layers. That would take two more years and more hospital stays and countless trips to the ER and ICU and rehabilitation, to get me to the point I was able to make preliminary sketches of works I needed to create. ‘In The Thicket Of It’ preliminary sketch was created on my iPhone in my hospital bed as I was in recovery on my last hospital stay.

I knew I had the correct canvas, the one where glints of wisdom had been buried, I used transparent washes of alizarine crimson and raw sienna paints. To create my black paint I used like ink from combining burnt umber and ultramarine blue to make chromatic black, black created by color. A black I have used in An Absence of Light and Night of Ache among others where black is not the prominent color. Using it like ink I used a sable brush to get dark sharp pen-like brushstrokes to cross-hatch the figure within. In The Thicket Of It shows I was on the way to coming back.

—The Artist

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