Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Life is Like a Bowl of Cherries ... Or Not

I've been plunged into a situation that was totally unexpected only two months ago. My father was hospitalized for congestive heart failure about 3 weeks ago and while he's back at home now, he needs full time care. I've been living with him for the last two weeks and finding that he not only has heart problems but also memory problems and possibly dementia. I am taking care of his every need, including daily care, coordinating visiting nurses and physical therapy as well as doctor appointments, not to mention the finances and legal things that the artist in me knows little about. This is the second most challenging task I've ever had to do in my life (the first was surviving cancer) and I've had more than one meltdown. As if that wasn't enough, my dad's lady friend died last week so we've dealt with his grief as well as attending the funeral and consoling the family. I am hoping to set up care for my dad within the next week so I can return to teaching my classes and doing my artwork soon. But first I can't wait to just return HOME and sleep in my own BED without having to worry about sleeping with one ear listening to when he wakes up and wanders.

For now I am working on this one colored pencil drawing whenever I have a few hours alone. I should call this piece "My Sanity" because working with my colored pencils is keeping me sane. Right now it looks more like "ghostly" cherries because I am working on the background first. My surface is Rtistx board and I am using a variety of brands of pencils; Prismacolor, Prismacolor Verithin, Derwent Coloursoft, Luminance and Lyra Rembrandt Polycolor pencils. I am not using solvent on the background so I am working first with the Prismacolor Premier Pencils and Derwent Coloursoft and then burnishing with the Lyras and Verithins in order to create a solid surface with none of the textured Rtistx board showing through. I've chosen to render the colorful glass dish and reflection first and when I'm satisfied, I will begin on the cherries. The cherries really have to "pop" off the intricate background so I am waiting until last to tackle them. I will list colors in my next entry.


hbedrosian said...


I am so sorry to hear all that you are going through right now. I will keep you in my prayers.

I can already tell this piece is going to be a stunner... can't wait to see it finished.

Lynda Schumacher said...

Goodness Kendra; you have had alot on your plate. Sometimes life just happens in ways we do not foresee or could not prepare for -- something I learned all too well through much of 2010 -- and I wish you strength for your challenges.

Kendra said...

Thank you both. I should have mentioned that staying with my dad is not all negative. I am happy to be able to spend quality time with him and that makes me happy.

Holly Durr said...

I just found your blog today. I sorry to hear about your dad. I know all about dementia, because my grandfather had it, but it's progress to alzheimer's. my grandfather is 86 and is in the last stages of it. We are thankful for each day we have with him.
it's good that you have your art and it's very beautiful.