abstract on paper by emily weil

daily painting | stitches

A kind artist friend gave me a set of “inktense blocks” and yesterday I pulled them out, took the plastic wrap off the tin of sticks and dove in. They are like pastel chalks in shape, are dense with vibrant pigment, and are water-soluble. I experimented with them and created this small abstract.

Oh, how making art calms my mind and heart. The act of creation is healing, and I am grateful.

I was also inspired by a recent trip to SF MoMA, where large paintings fill entire museum walls and those works give me permission to be myself and create art pieces that are only mine, not derivative of a popular style or trendy art fads. I feel very fortunate to be able to zip across the bay on the ferry and see such vividly painted canvases. 

And that reminds me — I’ll send out a notice shortly but my large abstracts will soon be on display in the lobby of 101 2nd St in San Francisco (corner of Mission and 2nd). The show will go up in the next couple of weeks and will be up through September. Slate Gallery, which organizes the show, doesn’t have the budget for a reception, but I’m told I can create my own. Watch this space. And then go watch that space.

6″ x 6″ inktense ink sticks on paper = $50

 

 

 

daily painting | free-flowing freesia

You know what I long for more than anything? Honesty and transparency. Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of having lunch with a new friend, the widow of Gene, a dear friend of my brother, who died eight months prior to my brother’s death. So… we talked grief. About sudden and surprising weeping, about grief bombs. About feeling like crap most of the time. About people who want to help, but really just apply pressure for us to get over it (“I hope the next time I see you you feel better!”). About the isolation of grieving, as feeling awful just isn’t OK. We laughed and bitched and bonded. I had a ball. How refreshing it is to be able to just be myself in all my gory glory, without worrying about humans who want me to hurry to get over my sorrows or to tastefully camouflage my open, bloody wounds. I just want to be me without having to perform, or hide how I feel. I’ll never be the same after losing all my siblings in just a few years. That’s reality. I am a new me.

My friend had heard good things about my caring for my brother from her husband, before he quickly died of fast-moving cancer (Gene was a doll, a professional photographer who visited my brother and took the best photos of Jim and his pals). I think she expected a halo to be hovering over my mop of gray hair. So when we both laughed about wanting to bitch-slap someone who patronizingly says, “I’m glad to see your moods are improving,” it was a tonic.

It’s liberating to be able to share my insides with abandon and without worry of a positivity lecture. To just tell the truth. And make jokes about it.

Yes, this is a rant. Too bad. And yes, I am influenced by a recent interview I listened to with Fran Lebowitz. God bless her snarky views of us wobbly humans. An icy glass of sweet lemonade on a muggy, suffocating day.

6″ x 9″ watercolor, ink on paper = $75

 

 

 

watercolor of wilted rose by emily weil

daily painting | droopy blossom

A wonderful and supportive friend brought me a lovely bouquet from her garden the other day, including a lush and gorgeous rose. The rose was getting droopy today, and I wanted to paint it. As a follow up to my sister Diana’s rose drawing in my last post. A rose that is done. Over. Spent.

If you have read my last blog, you will know I lost my sister Diana to suicide several days ago. And here is my request, my dear friends — please toss out hesitancy to talk about mental illness. Diana had any number of diagnoses, from depression to schizophrenia to anxiety disorders. A long list. She suffered a great deal and was hospitalized at times. While I am angry she could not or would not be more aggressive about her own care, it’s important to break down the taboos about being mentally ill. It’s essential we talk about it; most of us have been touched by it either directly or indirectly. I have had my own battles with depression and as a teenager considered suicide but decided it was too scary; I knew where mom’s full bottle of Seconal was (one of the things that pushed me close to that cliff was idiot parents of fellow teens in high school who gushed, “Oooh, these are the happiest times of your life! Enjoy them!” I thought, jeez, if this is as good as it gets I think I’ll check out now). Instead I found solace in the born-again Christian belief system which I no longer practice. People who commit suicide don’t want to die. They want the pain to stop.

It’s good, to be honest about these things and discuss disturbances and disorders and craziness and suicidal ideations. Put it all out on the table; there is nothing to be ashamed of. Someone who is bipolar or schizophrenic didn’t choose that any more than someone chooses a brain tumor or cerebral palsy. It’s physical. It’s a messed up brain. 

So. Please talk amongst yourselves.

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10″ x 7″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90