Mending and Healing Project
A Mending and Healing Project
This project began on July 4, 2017 in response to the inflammatory atmospheric situation that had arisen from the 2016 election. There was so much tension, anger, conflict, finger pointing. I asked myself “what do we need?” The answer presented itself as a need to mend fences, build bridges, listen to one another. It was so important to work towards healing the deep rifts opening up in families and communities. Starting with myself, I decided to choose an activity that would have the double function of releasing anger/tension and welcoming calm. Watercolors! One painting per week for 6 months, July through December. I would sell prints of these watercolors and donate 50% of the proceeds to an organization actively engaged in helping immigrant communities. I chose the ACLU. Thus a person could have something beautiful to show for their meaningful donation. I also decided to include a haiku with each painting, with an aim of choosing words which could clarify and express my mind/heart process.
Now that the 24 paintings have been completed, I find myself wanting to continue the project with some modifications; exactly what these will be will become clearer as I wrap up this phase of the work.
The experience has been nurturing and educational. In the beginning, the subject matter seemed overtly “political” but as time went on, I found myself drawn to using daily life and nature as my inspirations. In the beginning I wanted to discharge my anger, but gradually I found myself wanting to evoke an atmosphere of peaceful contemplation. You can see here the evolution of my focus.
Prints are on display and available through the Abrams-Claghorn Gallery
The images are printed on Hahnemuhle “William Turner” fine art paper,
190 gsm. “certified archivability”
The book, A Mending and Healing Project, may be purchased by clicking on the image in the "Books"page of this website.
Watercolors! The immediacy. That is what I like about painting with watercolors. My goal right now is to record my subject just as it is, whether I am drawing from nature or my imaginary images, or, as is usually the case, a combination of the two. I start somewhere, often with a tree, and then I put in an idea of something found, or noticed, or experienced. Then I watch what the inks and colors do. I am using Japanese sumi-e ink, Japanese watercolors, botanical inks and a bit of gouache. Sometimes they like each other and create harmony and sometimes they separate in particles or isolated little ponds with hard edges. I listen to them all. I look and I wonder. I don’t especially care if they represent what I might have thought they should represent. I care that they represent themselves.
Images © Suzanna Klein, 2018