How I started painting Gary’s sweatshirt using Brusho Watercolour Crystals in Gray.

Thank you

I’m naming the ninth in the Front-Line Heroes series “Thank you”.

This amazing individual is Gary, one of our County’s Senior Resources staff that delivers and prepares food for our seniors in need within the county where I live. Our county’s Senior population here in Ohio continues to grow and is the second largest county in the State of Ohio.

I know personally how these people delivering meal have touched and continue to make a difference for so many of our seniors. A few years back we had a neighbor that was receiving the county’s meals. She lived alone, had lost her husband after 50 plus years together. After losing him, she just gave up and her health started deteriorating very quickly. When they would drop off meals to her, these heroes would spend a few minutes with my neighbor seeing if they could be of assistance. They would put the meals in her refrigerator and check to make sure she was eating and rotate the meals and dispose of anything that was outdated. If they noticed that she or others that they deliver too were not eating, in need or their health was in jeopardy they would make sure the appropriate people are made aware of the situation. Even back then before the craziness of COVID-19, when family and neighbors did spend time with her, these drivers delivering meal were one of her lifelines. She depended on seeing them and they loved their time spent with her.

Can you imagine or are you someone that knows and understands what it is like not stopping by to spend time with someone? How many of our Seniors are now housebound? How many are afraid to go out?  How many family members are afraid to spend the much-needed time with their senior family members and people that are at risk?  So many stay at a distance as they are afraid they may transfer this to terrible virus to their senior mom, dad, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles or just friends that are at risk.  How sad, how lonely it is for both the people at risk and for families and friend.  Sure, we can call a person, we can even see them when we call if everyone is tech savvy. You can stop by, staying your distance maybe wearing a mask. But there is something about that personal touch, those hugs and kisses from loved ones, being in the same room, breathing the same air. Times are so different during this craziness.  But we want to protect our seniors and people at risk so we distance ourselves. We in our own way try to protect our loved ones, but at what hardships. Too many lives have been lost to this virus, too many are suffering from loneliness and depression.

But I ask you this, what is a happy medium of seeing our senior family and friends?  How does a senior survive and live a quality life without those much-needed interactions with family and friends? I wish I knew the answers. These Senior Resources delivery people continue to prepare meals and deliver them to our Seniors in need.  They continue to wear their masks and make their meal deliveries in these hard times.  These guys and gals are our Front-Line Heroes

When I was given this photo, it was one that caught my eye. It’s not what I would say is a dynamic photo with dramatic highlights and lowlights. But my attention was drawn to the bag, the bag saying thank you. That bag touched me so deeply. I knew it was one that I wanted to do for the Front-Line Heroes series. My gut, my inner voice, my minds eye told me it should be done as a monochrome painting using Brusho Gray. I didn’t listen to that voice.  Knowing the other painting I did called “Kindness” of another staff person from Senior Resources was done as a monochromatic painting using Brusho Black. I thought oh I should do this one differently, I should do this one with a limited palette of color, yes color. LOL four times, four redo-overs and not happy with any of them, each time I couldn’t get his face or that bag right. Why? Why was this painting such a struggle? Every time trying and getting more frustrated with myself with each attempt. I wasn’t get lost in any of the four paintings. I needed to get lost in it for it to turnout and paint itself.

Finally, one night, I understood why. I didn’t go with my inner voice, that instinct. I didn’t just let the painting happen. I was forcing it to be what it should not be. For me when I paint, I know I shouldn’t force a painting.   If I do, they are overworked and flat. I needed to let go, go with my inner voice, and just do, just paint. Spending a sleepless night up in my studio, letting go, going with my that voice and that instinct, doing this painting as a monochromatic using Brusho Gray, my instinct took over and there it was. Coming together, getting lost in the painting. That was the way it was supposed to be and then it immerged from that white blank paper.

I have to say this painting has the perfect name “Thank You”. Thank you for showing me the way, thank you for reminding me why I paint. I paint for the fun of getting lost and time standing still. Thank you for allowing me to take a white sheet of paper and transform it into a vision that my mind’s eye sees. Thank you for reminding me there is no reason to struggle in life.  Thank you for reminding me to just let go.

“Thank You”!