"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will
meet with success unexpected in common hours."
Henry David Thoreau
a new beginning
My cast has been removed and the foot still looks like a blowfish (body only). When I called the orthopedist in regards to the pain and bloating, he said "Use an elastic stocking." A picture of chopped pig stuffed into intestines came to mind.
Thank God for my therapists. One said my foot felt like rice krispies inside. Their massages loosened my tight muscles and ligaments. Felt the pain push out and away.
Doctor's become more and more superficial. Legal drug dispensers at exorbitant prices.9/7/96
Mom was distraught after Dad died. A lifetime together in the same house since 1942. Suddenly all the responsibilities are hers; fortunately she was used to doing most of the household chores.
I didn't need help in the middle of the night as I had before. Getting up from 2-5 times to the commode was disturbing to everyone concerned. Now I could get on and off the bed alone! Freedom comes in many guises.
NEWSDAY carried a small public interest item describing an upcoming exhibit called 'Still Life.' Immediately sensing the metaphor, oxymoron and pertinence ; I sent in for an application to show.
Remembering my life mask I asked my brother where it was stored. He came up with that used halo of mine! Son had a plaque made (Still Life, Vi Vona) to give the setup credence. Eerie to my closest friends. It looked back at me from the museum floor.
That was the first sculpture!!! in years.
I began a series of large flowers in watercolors. The VSA gallery in Washington exhibited disabled artists. I sent slides of those and of the pre-accident animal series and was excepted.
No professional wants or needs to be categorized in terms of their disability; the work stands on its own merit, it either grabs you or it doesn't. Unfortunately my 'career' was in the basement and finding a very viable organization to exhibit with was uplifting.
What makes a creative person persist when there's little financial remuneration? Is it ego? Stubbornness? Ignorance? Faith, hope and/or charity? Perhaps masochism?
|The drive through Sea Cliff with
my sister precipitated an immediate desire to live there. So different from any Long
Island community (with exceptions to the Eastern End.) Victorian, inexpensive, filled with
antique shops, galleries and amenities for daily living in walking distance. Last but
best...cliffs overlooking the harbor and brilliant setting sun.|
I found a 2 room apartment above an 'old ladies' beauty shop on the main street. Pull out couch with a kitchenette, new bathroom and front windows. A new building; the only new building on the street. Confined to bed I began to create a handmade quilt and odd collages from old squares in my collection.
Started a new series utilizing ideas of the cosmos, Atlantis, Bermuda Triangle and Edgar Cayce, using collage and printing techniques, raw pigments, wax crayons and gold leaf. My studio was the living room and kitchen table. Pyramid Energy (1974) and Eclipse (1974).
I needed a car and found an old Peugeot that I bought for $200. I fell in love with the auto mechanic...
Once again school...this time for a teaching certification. I began at NYIT nearby and did student teaching at local middle and high schools. Finished - no permanent jobs available; instead substitute teaching - stressful and undependable. A professor recommended me to BOCES. ESL and learning disabled students were the norm; driving a large school room/bus another job description. The other teachers were bright and diversified. My best buddy had a bushy head of red hair and beard and was a member of MENSA. He killed himself; a comedown position for him I guess. They took advantage of us, our salary was $10 an hour. I wrote a course description for teaching the learning disabled adult utilizing creative modalities ...just because it was needed.
Inverted Cross (1974) was created after I destroyed a long piece of fabric and wire colored with gold metallic crayon. It had a plywood base and six squares covered in pure brass. The drawings gave me a variety of configurations...only one way worked in terms of positive and negative spaces. A definite need for letting go precipitated the splashing of color red (blood), black (death) and pink (flesh).
Dylan and Dagna and I became a family unit again. We lived in a rented apartment above an elderly woman in a run down Victorian house; two floors and a back yard with a driveway for my new Chevrolet.
Schools were good and within walking distance. The atmosphere was suburban creative!
I started art classes for children and adults. We built about 8 wood easels just like professional schools. When the classes were over I stacked all the equipment in the corners. The children presented discipline problems and my studio became public domain. The interruptions in my own work were hard to overcome. It was especially so because I didn't have a focus or direction with the work itself. The cosmos series was exciting but no one wanted to show it. Pat Passlof took me to Betty Parsons; she loved them all but was terminally ill and not setting up exhibitions. Her director, Jack Tilton was uninterested.
The Inverted Cross scared everyone... metamorphosing into heavenly blue...I hated myself for covering the original raw emotion...took it apart...it became 6 separate plates. Years later the plates were sold that way to Nancy and Gordon Hummel. He kept them after their divorce.