Restoration

Even though muscular dystrophy attempts to lay claim to my life, I have found a few ways to come out from the shadow of my disease.  One of my pleasures (and therapies) is painting.  This creative form affords me the freedom to live beyond the limits of my physical world and to express feelings that expand beyond the limits that words impose.  The more I paint, the more I feel compelled to paint.  It is addictive and healthy.   As I work to bring an oil painting to completion, I am restoring little pieces of me.

Two years ago, on a sunny, winter day, I was admiring the beautiful shadows trees were casting on the snow.  The more I thought about those shadows, the more I felt motivated to paint their beauty.  Then, the clouds came and refused to go away.  Weeks passed without any sustained sunlight; brief moments were followed by long, gray days.  There were no shadows.  How symbolic!  How often do we who feel as if our disability has made us shadows of our former selfs have taken the opportunity to hide?

Finally, the sun returned and the shadows could hide no longer.  Fearing that they would quickly retreat again, I had no time to waste.  Making changes to his day, my husband lovingly agreed to take some pictures with the hope of capturing those elusive beauties.

As soon as he returned home, I scrolled through the photos until I found the one that revealed their complex beauty.  Taking printed photo in hand, I went to work.  After some time, the painting was finished.  The shadows would forever declare their presence to the world.

Now, for the final step: varnish to keep the elements from eroding and dulling the paint.  Some artists advise that there should be a six-month waiting period before varnishing a painting.  However, this time, I followed the advice of an expert who counseled that a painting could be varnished right away – if done within two weeks of the original drying time.  So, after a week-and-a-half, I started to brush varnish on my painting.  Suddenly, to my horror, I realized that the white paint was smearing and making the entire painting milky in appearance.  I stopped immediately,

With painstaking effort, I slowly removed the varnish from the painting.  Using dry brush after dry brush, I wiped away as much of the milky, white paint as I could.  Then, I left the painting on the easel.  I wondered, “Could it be restored?”

Returning to the painting two days later to assess the damage.  There were areas that needed to be reworked.  Mixing the paints slowly, I contemplated how to go about the process of showing those shadows how beautiful they were.  Could I remove the stains?  Would the shadows allow themselves to be restored?

 

Restore-with-Gentleness-WEB
Oil Painting by Rose Wolfe

 

Published by

Rose Wolfe (Living Free with disAbilities)

Let's get to the elephant first: I have myotonic dystrophy which defines my physical limitations, but it does not define me. Without the distraction of physical activities, I have found my passions: (1) Encouraging others to live more fully with fun, faith, and hope; (2) finding freedom in oil painting; (3) writing about my experiences; and (4) encouraging others to live more passionately. It is my belief that every person lives with at least one disability - for impairments are not limited to those with chronic illnesses. Many neurotypical people are psychological architects who have constructed enclosures in which they trap themselves. Mindsets, attitudes, and perceptions are fluid realities. Many of us have forgotten that it is possible how to live beyond our disabilities. Life may have challenges but faith and hope are within reach. I have made my choice: I am LivingFreeWithdisAbilities.

8 thoughts on “Restoration”

  1. Beautiful. Mind you I like reading your pots, and wonder if you ever wrote or write poetry? I was in the middle of developing with pencil shadow depth and perception techniques. I should get back to it. I love all of your artwork.

    Liked by 1 person

Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s