Saturday, March 28, 2020

On Exhibit: The Corona Sidestep: A Virtual Exhibition

Art lovers and appreciators, take a look at "The Corona Sidestep: A Virtual Exhibition" where dozens and dozens wonderful pieces of art are highlighted, including one of my paintings.

Artist and curator, Joanne Mattera writes, "While news about the corona pandemic centers rightfully on the human toll of the virus (and the presidential ineptitude that has made it worse) another less visible toll has taken place. The resulting quarantine has drawn the curtain on our creative community. Imagine the disappointment of artists who have worked a year or longer for a solo or group exhibition only to have it postponed, or worse, installed and unviewed."

I spent well over a year and a half working with the gallery director, planning the show I was in, as well as creating the work to hang in the gallery.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

New Work: Covid-19 Worries About Kidney Recipients

My family began 2020 hoping we would all be free of health concerns for a while, after my son received a new kidney in October 2019, and I donated one in December.

While I worry about everyone getting sick, I especially worry about my son who lives in Seattle, and Ruth, the recipient of my kidney who lives in Wisconsin, and all kidney recipients who are immunocompromised.

This painting was created with collaged acrylic skins of a photo of Covid-19 that are collaged on stiffened monoprinted fabric that is machine stitched with black. The red stitched line represents the scar of most recipients, which usually go horizontally a little below the panty line. The black lace ovals represent panties, and are actually from an older pair of mine. (I hope that’s not TMI.)

Covid-19 Worries About Kidney Recipients measures 7.5" x 7.5" and is Mixed media on stiffened fabric.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

New Work: Observation After Surgery: Laundry

For the first two months after donating my kidney, I was not allowed to lift more than 10 lbs, which included our laundry basket. In addition, loading and unloading the washer and dryer was very painful, so my husband took over doing our laundry.

In our over 37 years of marriage, doing the laundry has been my household job. I never minded it, because I am very grateful that he’s the cook, a task I do not enjoy. 

Now that I’m over three months post surgery, I can lift up to 30 lbs. Doing the laundry doesn’t hurt, and I’m glad to be doing it again. I find it sweet that my husband is still offering to help. I think he liked doing it. :)

In this painting, the washer agitator, in the center, represents my belly button, and the red stitched line represents my scar, which ends a little below the side of my belly button.

Observation After Surgery: Laundry is mixed media on stiffened fabric. It measures 13” x 9.5”.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

New Work: 54 Scars, 54 Kidney Donors


54 Scars, 54 Kidney Donors shows a visual interpretation of the scars of 54 kidney donors from a Facebook page I’m on. The page exists as a support group for kidney donors and potential donors. I asked group members if they would be willing to tell me if their scars are vertical, horizontal or laparoscopic, and how many they have, so I could make a painting about it. Each donor is represented in individual their own “square”. I flattened the scars out because some laparoscopic scars are on the donor’s side. I drew the scars with red paint, hand stitched them with red embroidery thread, and machine stitched the edges of the “squares” with black thread.

54 Scars, 54 Kidney Donors is mixed media on stiffened fabric. It measures 21.75” x 36.25”.

Monday, March 2, 2020

New Work in Progress: Dates in a Life Project 2020

Through February, Dates in a Life Project 2020, a year-long painting project documenting the number of steps I walked, and the number of flights of stairs I climbed, each day. In February, I finally walked more than 10,000 steps (the red triangle), and I climbed 29 flights of stairs (the day with yellow gold paint). This painting is mixed media on stiffened fabric. I keep track of my steps using the Pedometer app in my iPhone.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

New Work: Dates in a Life: Kidney Donation

Dates in a Life: Kidney Donation
mixed media on stiffened fabric
19” x 23.75”

Dates in a Life: Kidney Donation documents time after I was accepted as a kidney donor, and everything connected on my end toward my son receiving a kidney, my donation, and some of my recuperation.
My son was born with Dent Disease, a rare x-linked kidney disease that was passed from my father through me to him. Because his kidney disease was starting to progress, I decided to be tested in hope that I could donate indirectly to him because we do not share the same blood type.
My Dates of a Life: Kidney Donor Testing painting shows the process of testing from the day I first applied on December 20, 2019, to the day I was accepted as a kidney donor on July 23, 2019. 
Dates in a Life: Kidney Donation continues from July 23rd. It includes when my son received a kidney in Seattle in late October 2019, the search for my recipient and weeks I waited to donate to someone I was matched with with my blood type via the National Kidney Registry, my preparation to donate, my surgery in Seattle on December 17, 2019 and my recuperation in Seattle until December 27th, and then at home in Natick, MA through February 23rd. 
Detail of Dates in a Life: Kidney Donation

There are symbols that represent each medical test (urine, blood, x-rays, and scans), phone calls or emails with the medical team about testing, travel across the US from Boston to Seattle for my donation, talking to kidney donors, recipients and my son, his transplant date, and just passing time while I waited to donate. There’s a symbol that marks the day in 1975 I lost my father to kidney disease after his unsuccessful transplant. There are symbols, all with gold paint, for my transplant, my hospital stay, passing time as I recuperated, and when I got a thank you card from my recipient and when I sent her a note in return.

The black lines under a square highlight the time my kidney is listed and until a recipient is found. The dark turquoise lines are for when I had to stop taking any medications in preparation for my donation. The dark brown lines show when I got virus and was totally bed ridden because my body didn’t have enough energy to heal from surgery and fight a virus at the same time.
I decided not to use a calendar format, as I did for my Dates in a Life Walking Project paintings. The thin white lines under a square highlight Saturdays and Sundays to give a sense of time.
The painting is created with monoprinted textures of a construction fence as the background, handstamped rubber erasers on fabric which are collaged on the background grid, as well as handpainting and stitching on stiffened fabric.

Friday, February 21, 2020

New Work in Progress

This is a painting in progress with the scars of 48 kidney donors from a Facebook page I’m on. I asked if they would tell me if their scars are vertical, horizontal or laparoscopic, and how many they have, so I could make a painting about it. My interpretation of what their scars look like have been drawn (painted) on monoprinted and painted fabric  and I've stitched holes over the red paint because the fabric is thick and difficult to sew through, and I've started the hand stitching. 

When I shared these photos with the Facebook group a week after asking about scars, a few more people told me about theirs, so it it likely that I will be adding at least one more row of 6 scars. Stay tuned.