Friday, January 19, 2007

Person with Questions (1984)

The sixth transitional piece, "Person with Questions" is the second of seventeen pieces where watercolor, gouache and Rembrandt pastels were applied to single sheets of rough 140 lb. 100% cotton Arches watercolor paper. 

Although the series of Rembrandt pastel images had been done in a classroom setting while sitting at a drawing bench or on the floor in my home, around this time my former husband gave me a portable drafting table, which allowed me to work more comfortably. To this day, I am grateful to him for the gift of that table. During this time, I had begun to work 35 hours a week in the evenings in a hospital as a medical transcriptionist. 

Beginning in 1983, I had talked with a vocational counselor at the local community college, taken the suggestion that I might make a good medical transcriptionist and begun taking classes to improve my typing skills, after having gone through college always looking at my fingers as I slowly typed up essays for both my English and Art classes. Following that, I was accepted into a Medical Assisting Program, taking only the courses that applied to medical transcription. Because I did so well in the medical transcription classes, I was hired as a medical transcriptionist while still completing the community college classes. 

Previous to that time, I had worked as a letter carrier, pharmaceutical production worker and industrial sewing machine operator. Medical transcription suited me, and I worked in that field from the beginning of 1984 until the end of 2004 and have had paying jobs sporadically since then. 

"Person with Questions" was accepted for the 4th Annual Whatcom County Art Competition in 1984 and displayed at the Whatcom Museum of History and Art in Bellingham, Washington. Although it didn't win an award, it was placed in a prominent location, the first piece visible from one of the two main entry doors to the room where the art work was displayed. 

As I approached the room and saw my painting, one of my former art teachers, Paul Glenn, was standing near me, not aware of my presence, and upon seeing my painting said to his companion that the painting was a masterpiece. I am fortunate to have had such affirming teachers.


Loren said...

There is a compelling ambiguity to the painting, especially the contrast between the eyes and the flaming red hair.

Very nice.

am said...

Thank you, Loren.

Lori Witzel said...

Ah, it's hard to weave a living into a life, and I appreciate you sharing some of your history.

I really like this -- the little red bits remind me of Yods and of rose petals, giving the impression (at least to me) of Questions being little rose-scented divine flames.

Have a wonderful week, I look forward to more!

am said...

Lori, I had not thought of that before. Thank you for being able to see Yods. Now I can see them, too. Thanks so much for your comments.