Monday, October 8, 2012

Painting at Roswell Park Cancer Institute

During the weekend of September 22nd and 23rd, I was one of thirty artists who participated in Roswell Park Cancer Institute's inaugural paint out. The paint out, a "plein-air art activity," was organized by the Roswell Park Alliance Art Committee. This committee's function is to find locally created art work to hang at the cancer hospital. The intention is to create a more welcoming environment for staff, patients, and visitors.
The event was scheduled to happen, regardless of weather conditions.
I was fascinated by the corridor. It was long, colorful, but empty. There was a light at the end of it. So I started by making this sketch.

I began adding color at this point. I was using a small travel set of water color paints.

This is the completed version of the painting. It depicts the corridor, which is empty, yet not hopeless. The decorations on the columns, which seemed abstract to me, are visual depictions of cancer cells. I made sure to put the empty chair in the painting, as that represented the people and pets who had been lost to cancer.
On Saturday, it rained. Then it got windy. It was truly a dreary day. Dana Jenkins, a member of the art committee, showed me a nice, cozy indoor spot to paint. It was in an enclosed bridge between two buildings. It was a peaceful location. I made two paintings on that day. I was happy with one and a little less than happy with the other. Not so bad. My batting average was .500 for the day. Any baseball player would be thrilled with that. I was alone during the morning. In the afternoon, another painter, Bernice Smith, joined me. Her favorite media is acrylics. She brought her easel, her paints, and her energy for art. It was wonderful to have company. By mid-afternoon, however, Bernice and I were tired. She said that she had been on the roof of the parking garage for the entire morning and that she and her art supplies got soaking wet. She termed our long art adventure "combat painting."
Really big painting, done outside. Notice the ladder. It was fun to watch the artist paint on this enormous canvas.
After a night's sleep, all of the artists, including a man who was painting an enormous painting outside, felt more energetic. For me, going to Saint Louis Church in downtown Buffalo and singing with the choir, directed by Frank Scinta, was a big treat. That, too, helped to energize me.
Ahh, sunlight at last. I enjoyed the lovely weather and celebrated it with this painting.
On Sunday, I painted outside. It was sunny but windy. I felt relaxed and in a good space when I was painting.
All in all, the paint out was a good experience for me.
Here is another artist's story about the paint out: Roberta Bolt's story
Followup: On Wednesday, October 3rd, the committee offered the paintings for sale, in conjunction with the weekly farmers' market at Roswell Park. The sale ended abruptly when a huge wind kicked up and started blowing away the paintings. But, before the abrupt end, one of my paintings was sold to a doctor at Roswell Park. I believe that the painting, the one of the long, empty corridor, will have its home in Roswell Park.

1 comment:

  1. This was an awesome event dispite the Saturday Rain. It was great meeting the author of this blog and painting next to her....Hello Alyce!!!

    I am still drying out...Bernice