Wednesday, May 19, 2010


"Church Where Sara Was Married", 11x14, Oil.
Along the way, I'm trying to train my brain not to see in fragments to be record one by one as puzzle pieces. That's the way I tended to work on this one in '07 when Marge snapped this first photo of "Easel & me" at the Old Christ Church, a historic landmark. With not much in common but being the last two painters standing that day, we went for lunch at Dharma Blues on the opposite corner.

Recently, just as our show was going up, Marge suffered a stroke. It has effected the communication center of her brain, complete thoughts and sentences are challenging. I've had no experience with the idea of art as therapy, but it only made sense to share visually. Seeing Burridge's work in "Finding your Visual Voice" she said ,"I like him". A short but complete thought that expressed a lot of hope.

Then the following week, it was extremely clear to me that the art-part of her brain was fully functioning. She was showing me things in the art magazines. Marked pages, she had drawn inspiration from, as well as the live plants in her room, the art-cards sent by the group, & photos from our art-show that she missed.

Her sketchbook last week- exhibits (though set in her ways) she is able to think in a variety of styles and is vitally still studying. What she manages to verbalize, is a strand that usually trails off before the point is clear... though I can sometimes catch her drift~ of fragments, trying... to make connection.

For our group- Marge, in her own words & sketches:
"The funniest thing was... or whatever... I tell you what... if you don't."
"let me go" "What I wanted to tell you was ... Buick ..."
(She does art-tours & recently shared how we could save on a painting trip to Tuscany.) "I would love that... but they wanted me to... but last night... for a long time... this is just so hard for me... & it's trying to get..."
(about art mediums)- "Well I want to find where that is & keep... I don't know now... 
I haven't... done it... you know... I don't make the payments... those were all... Uh!, I can't make it."
(Trying to figure out how she got there, the nursing home)- "Let me ask...for... I know when I was... where do they? in the nude... & I didn't know where I was. When you take it out of here, & you'll see that (pointing down the hall). What is her name? Well, now, did you get your... Did you make the... geez! And if you look..."
"Oh, I want to go to that!... but... I hope that I'll get there...
Down payment, when I give that- then I'll go."
"If I just had those~ but they won't go. And I don't remember who...had that~~~ there to me."
(Talking about our art group & looking at photos of the show)-
"Now, when... She brought this in... isn't this a ... didn't he make that. That's you."
"I didn't know that she was. It's just a ..."
"Well, I just can not believe... When are you going back to him? OK, now I was...Geez, I can't. And she told that- ... pieces~ stuff~ but, one of mine was" (I think she was talking about how her large painting was displayed on an easel up front in the Outside Lover Show.) "It was new, great big."
"I can tell you." "It just isn't there any So much more~ & why the...? I don't know why they've got so much ----- stuff. I think she will... get the other two" (she had 3 pieces in the show, one was not pictured).
"I love the way there... read it... it right there."
(When I arrived she was asleep in front of her unopened hospital-container of turkey)
Remembering our mutual preference of lunch menus, I took the yummiest entree from our Art Study Club luncheon- Eggplant Parmesan. After every bite- "Um! Oh. that's so good, wonderful".
[click pics to enlarge]


Don Bishop said...

Hey you! Good to see you're still laying down the nice thick paint! Your recent pieces are looking good.
Cheers, Don B : )

Karen Bruson said...

Nice colors and buttery paint!

Marie Theron said...

I love the Impressionistic church painting! All the best to Marge. On her plein air photo I can see that she was a wonderfully accomplished artist! She is brave and full of courage and will get there again!I am glad you are helping, Jill!

Chuck Dilmore said...

i have always-always admired
your interpretation of the world...
i just love how you are out in it,
sharing, inspiring, healing people.

you do beautiful work...
and that extends
well beyond your Art.

the story of Marge is truly profound.
you are showing us the best parts of this life.


Janelle Goodwin said...

Thank you for sharing this story with us about Marge. It touched me profoundly because my mother also had a stroke and was permanently paralyzed for six years til she died. I love Marge's courage and wish her the best!

Jill Berry said...

for stopping by,
& for taking a moment
to share your thoughts.

I do believe Marge is improving,
and am looking forward to sketching with her next time...
perhaps outside.

Janelle- Sorry to hear about what you & your mother endured.
Thanks again for commenting.

Luzia said...

Oh Jill, this old church ist so wonderful! I hope, that Marge will improve her painting skills more and more. I´m sure you both will have a lot of fun next time...... Greetings from Luzia.