Saturday, November 2, 2013

Mountains and Clouds

Bob usually eats facing a wall instead of out into the garden because of the way his table is situated.  This had been bothering me for awhile. I wanted him to have something to look at when he eats since he’s now fed, having lost the ability to handle a spoon very well.  If left to feed himself the food often lands on the table and floor instead of in his mouth.

I have some serigraphs made long ago (these are original artist’s hand made prints) and had brought some here to Bali to cut in half for painting on the unused side.  Two survived the dissection and as of a week ago one now graces Bob’s dining wall. 

I wondered if he would even notice the print entitled, “The Mountains Admiring the Clouds”, with mountains shaped like faces looking at clouds shaped like animals and people.  I now shutter at my choice of colors for this piece created in 1980.  It’s too happy, too bright, and not the way I would paint it today with a more sophisticated palette.

When I arrived at Bob’s yesterday afternoon Ketut Krok was feeding him. They had been at this for over two hours.  Bob has always chewed his food well and always finished eating after everyone else, but two hours? Ketut patiently drew the spoon towards Bob and sometimes he’d refuse it so back it went onto the plate. Ketut waited and tried again. Much of the time had been spent waiting for Bob to be ready for the next spoonful.  I admire Ketut’s patience.

"The Mountains Admiring the Clouds"
During this time I noticed Bob intently looking at the new art work.  He talked about it as though the characters were alive and he was surprised to hear that I had created it.  I was with him for over an hour and he wouldn’t let me turn his wheelchair to face the garden. He was fascinated by the art piece.

“Where’s the fish?” he asked. I honestly hadn’t really looked at the serigraph in years. After studying it I found a fish in the clouds, “There it is Bob. It’s an angel fish.”  He asked lots of questions which mostly I didn’t understand. A lot of what Bob says makes little sense plus he speaks very softly.  I tried to answer in a nebulous way with a smile and hoped it made sense to him.

I left Bob’s house today thrilled to know this discarded work of mine is doing some good, is brightening my husband’s life, and giving him something to talk about. It’s peculiar as an artist, that often pieces I don’t like for one reason or another still speak to someone else. It’s as though they have a life of their own.  And this piece with its garish colors and simplistic theme is no exception. It speaks to Bob.

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