a new vision

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by Karen Phillips Curran

Being alone is not a new thing for many artists. Lots of us spend solitary days inside our minds, inside our studios. It is a bit of a dichotomy, since we are the monitors of our society, expressing its beauty, its angst, its troubles and its joys. We are the canary of the veritable coal mine of our planet, our population, our culture, our gender, our creed, our environment, did I miss anything?

Many artists are simply here to predictably render the surroundings they find beauty in, a mountain, a stream, a field, a backyard lane and much more, gets rendered in a style that represents it but doesn’t necessarily define it photographically. We then are treated to an enhanced version of what is seen by one’s naked eye. Their efforts enhance and itemize the beauty of the scene.

White Community Hall watercolour 21"x29" on d'Arches 140lb cold pressed paper $790

White Community Hall watercolour 21″x29″ on d’Arches 140lb cold pressed paper $790

I’ve been an artist who appears to be of that ilk, for many years, refining techniques that I learned early in life. As I have aged I have sought to minimalize my style, bring it down to bare bones, and leave out the distracting details. In 2004 I was diagnosed with cancer in my eye and faced the all too real possibility of losing my right eye. Thankfully I live in Canada, so medical help was there for me and after several surgeries, my eye is still functioning. So my sight was compromised but not my artistic journey. At one pint I was, in fact, joyful at being able to see the world as an impressionist painting. This changed my journey. I must admit I fought it for years and sometimes still do.  But in the end, the truth is that I see the world differently now, figuratively as well as literally.

As a result of this impairment in my vision, my old brain kicked in and has been learning to translate the images recorded by my defective eye and create a world that is normal looking, most of the time. My actual vision sees three distinct images, what I call the main image, a similar but faded one slightly below it and another image, just right of the two, that is tilted at about 45 degrees….the night sky appears as checkmarks with my triple vision.

I’ve not utilized this unique vision to the max yet, but I will. Until I do please take a look at the imagery I have created and see it with fresh clear eyes.