Sunday, October 21, 2012


A mural commission for a cancer hospital. The request is for a tree of life, using gold leaf and these are details of the beginnings. I am trying to imagine being a patient, signing in at the front desk where this will be hung, and what would I want to see? Probably not this bear who ended up looking so wise but so sad. I'll try to cheer her up. Maybe I can make her look wise and happy. There are tricks to change facial expression like lowering her eyebrows and raising her cheeks to scrunch her eyes shut a little, which happens when we smile. She looks sad because her eyes are too open.

Should I cram as much life as possible into a crazy rococo cornucopia? This image will have to be structured and quietened for it to bring solace to anyone. Somewhere between the mania of this riot and the introspection of the solitary bear detail I hope to find a life affirming image. I have a lot more work to do. 


  1. As someone with cancer, I love the thought of walking into the hospital and greeting your wise and happy bear. Wise and sad is part of it, too.

    I'm thrilled about this hospital community valuing art as a way to bring solace, inspiration, and hope to those working with illness.

    All the best, Jean. Love your blog and work.

    Susan Michael Barrett
    Parental Gleanings, a blog about watching and learning from kids

  2. Hi Susan. Thank you for sharing how you feel about art in a hospital. I always try to keep in mind that I am communicating something to someone when I make a painting but some messages are harder for me to figure out than others. I wish you lots of love and support - and much art - in your future.