Look Closer #4

(In my last blog post, I talked about getting caught in the rain and my power wheelchair breaking down. I wanted to let readers know that the repairs are in process. I’ve also managed to get the proper paperwork done for a new cushion for the chair. It should all be taken care of by November, but I hold out hope that they’ll at least get the chair running before then, even if it’s November before the new cushion arrives.)

This blog post is to announce the completion of the 4th painting in my Look Closer: Disability and Sensuality series. With these paintings I hope to show that a person can be in transition, in great pain, and have major body transformations but still find themselves filled with elation and sensuality.  How sensuality is expressed changes, but it doesn’t cease.

This one stretched my skills and challenged me in new ways. I didn’t have any idea what I was going to call it, which is unusual for me. I usually have a whole story or working title from the beginning.

This one is based on a former neighbor of mine, a young woman who had a below the knee amputation after a car wreck several years before I met her. She was a lovely and vibrant person and I enjoyed seeing the ease with which she made her way in the world.

I started with sketches, trying to capture the liveliness with in a still figure.

I’m not used to representing architecture — stairs, doors. It’s not important to me that I paint things realistically, but I wanted a basic sense of perspective in this, so I started with a grid. (I painted over a failed painting.)

But once it was all gridded and measured out, I immediately went outside the lines.

It was interesting and often frustrating working on her facial expression, what to shade, how far to stray from reality. I also changed the design of the prosthetic leg several times. There are a lot of really dynamic prostheses now. I wanted hers to both stand out and to blend in.

I also wanted to capture the light and energy of sunset — light on one side of the porch, shadow on the other. And to somehow show the energy of yearning.

Almost there

And then, after consulting several people on it, I finished it up and titled it.

She Unlocked Her Door, by Joy Murray, 20×24″ Acrylic paint and ink on stretched canvas

Although it took a long time to finish this, I enjoyed this painting and am growing to appreciate my own style more and more. I hope the wonkiness adds to the energy I’m trying to convey.

I’d hoped to have this series finished by the end of the year, but I don’t see that happening now. I think it will be next summer before they are all done, but it’s not something I want rush.

These are the first three paintings:

Ever After by Joy Murray
The Color of Air by Joy Murray
Desire Seemed to Expand by Joy Murray

What do you think?

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Flying Dream-new painting

For my next art show in November, I’m painting a series on bodies, particularly those that have been transformed by life’s challenges.

I have know several people who have had leg amputations below the knee and this painting was inspired, in a way, by them, as well as by a recent strange dream.   I was trying to fly but was caught in a current of water.

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Flying Dreams by Joy Murray, 16×10″ acrylic and ink on stretched canvas

What do you think?

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This blog is brought to you by the generosity of people who support me on Patreon , buy my art, and who support me in so many different ways

Cards and prints on some of my art is available on Redbubble.  

If you find a typo, let me know, and I’ll send you a postcard.

 

 

Something About Your Light

Beloved Memphis artist Frankd Robison posts pictures of himself on social media as well as his friends and his healing process as he works to deal with serious health problems.  It’s lucky for me because I can practice sketching various facial expressions from his pictures.  He posts his paintings and his philosophy of hope, and the belief that love never fails, without ignoring the sorrow and brutality of the world.

Earlier this year he posted this photograph:

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Photo by Frankd Robinson

I look at it frequently — something about the light and his expression and his clothes strike me as sacred.  The sacred struggle of life as we try to survive diseases in addition to all the chaos and pain life throws our way.   There is pain, but there is light, there is grace.

I didn’t know if I had the skill to paint this light, but it kept nagging at me.  I wanted to commune with the image in a way that I can only do with paint.  So I plunged forward and painted it the best I could.

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Something About Your Light, by Joy Murray, Acrylic on stretched canvas, 9×12

My goal wasn’t to exactly reproduce the photograph, but to do an homage, like I did with my last painting of Frankd.

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How Does Your Garden Grow? 

And here are a few of Frankd Robinson’s remarkable works:

 

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This blog is brought to you by the generosity of people who support me on Patreon , buy my art, and who support me in so many different ways

Cards and prints on some of my art is available on Redbubble.  

If you find a typo, let me know, and I’ll send you a postcard.

New Painting: Unraveling

I painted a version of this a few years ago:

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She Never Knew What to Make of Her Own Unraveling, by Joy Murray, 8×10″

I made it for myself — it was a painting  to help me understand the impact of trauma and disability has had on my life, and on so many lives.

I liked the composition and I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback on it.  I’ve been working on a larger version on it for awhile, and finally finished:

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Unraveling, by Joy Murray, 18×20″ Mixed Media

We are all in a continual state of transformation — some feels great, some feels scary.  But however life impacts us, we are a sacred part of nature.

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Thanks for reading my post.  If you like it share it.  If you find a typo, please let me know and I’ll send you a thank-you postcard.  

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