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Friday, July 18, 2008

Care for a Night Cap?


My mom died 12 weeks and 3 days ago.

She was busy running things as usual in February, then she was sick in the hospital in March, and then in April I watched her die, heard her last heartbeat. I've had so many mixed feelings of sadness, anger, emptiness and an overwhelming sense of loss. Days and nights where I've cried on and off endlessly it seems, and then surprisingly - a whole day will go by and I won't think about my grief even once! But this week has been hard. I've been up in the middle of the night feeling emotions I never felt before, and cannot describe either. My latest late-night painting is titled "Care for a Night Cap?" and it was drawn from still life (no photo for this simple little number) and uses a limited palette: Pyrelene Green, Alizarin Crimson and Indanthrone Blue. All Daniel Smith paints which I love for so many reasons, not the least because they re-wet so remarkably well in the mixing tray. So for those late-night sketches, I'm not opening tubes of paint, just re-wetting the dried paint in my tray.

I'd been looking for a good reason to lay down Pyrelene Green in a rich, pure wash and I'm so pleased with the result. It's a gorgeous and incredibly diverse color - you can even use it to cool down a too-rosy portrait!

I wandered over to our bookshelf and took down a bottle of dark caramel-colored soft drink that we brought back from St. Lucia in 2004 - it was a very good year, however I don't think this particular soda ages well! The bottle, however, is intriguing in its elongated shape and heavy stature. After a quick sketch, I laid down the color very quickly, wet-in-wet with a #8 square brush to ensure that the lines were loose (using a square brush frees me from adding too much detail).

I'm hoping to sleep better this weekend - here's hoping that you have a good night's sleep also.

8 comments:

Deb said...

I'm so sorry about your loss. I lost my dad suddenly, 5 years ago. It does get easier, but some days it's like fresh, raw pain all over again.
I'm sure your mom was proud of you and your accomplishments.

Take care.

Karen Faulkner said...

Unfortunately I can relate all too well to what you are going through, as you know I lost my husband during the same time period. I miss him terribly all the time. I'll be hoping for more restful nights to come for both of us.

Christy DeKoning said...

Deb, thank you for sharing with me, you must miss your Dad so much. It's always good to hear from people who have had similar life experiences - it helps me stay grounded and remember that the faith that carried our family this far will get us through the hard times too.

Christy DeKoning said...

Karen, so lovely to hear from you. Doesn't it just feel unreal at times? It does for me, and then...bam! Hits me between the eyes. I'm really starting to feel it more now than I did while she was sick, and in the first few weeks. Thank you for your warm wishes - we'll get through this.

Marsha Robinett said...

Christy,
Grief is a process. My parents have been gone for sometime now and still at the most unexpected moment something will trigger that old feeling. It sounds like a cliche but it's true...time takes care of a lot. Things will get better and your memories will become blessings instead of pain.

Karen Faulkner said...

Yes, it feels very unreal at times. I often think about how my life changed so completely in the course of several minutes. There is a novel/memoir I highly recommend called The Knitting Circle by Rhode Island writer Ann Hood.

twiddlestix said...

Christy, I hope that you will find peace. I am sure it is a hard process.

Amy Lilley Designs said...

Gosh, Christy...12 weeks and 3 days...I'm glad to see/hear you share/talk about losing your Mom...it's good for you and I can feel your words cutting thru me...thankfully, my Mom is still w/ us...but, she's frail and we've very close...we worry about each other. I told her that I was going to sit in my 10' blowup swimming pool(we're having a heat wave) and she said, well, what if you fall asleep...and I told her not to worry...her response was well, you worry about me, so I can worry about you too...yes, of course Mom...you're right...go right ahead and be worried..(she's in NY)...

Sweet dreams to you tonight Miss Christy...:)