Saturday, January 12, 2013

Midnight Roses

Posted by Maggie

It seems forever since I painted. It has been hard to comprehend that it has been three weeks now since I went to the hospital and this life-shattering chain of events began. But in terms of any connection to art, it seems even longer, though I had a painting on the easel the day it began.

Given all that is going on in my life, I've wondered why I have been so focused that I needed to draw or paint, when I'm also overwhelmed by the need to communicate with my leg, to heal from surgery, and so on.

What I think it is, is that I need to know I still am who I am, and a big part of that has to do with my art. If I can put pencil to paper, hold a brush and apply color, think about form and line and value, then I am reconnecting to who I am and what I do.

My hands shake endlessly. I found on an earlier attempt that I cannot hold a pencil or charcoal or pastel well enough to draw. So tonight, when my sleepless spell began, I decided to try some watercolor. Earlier today, with Bill's help and the use of a walker, I stepped a few feet into the studio to select supplies, so they were at hand and ready.

It did seem easier to handle the brush than to try to hold a pen. I loved just playing with color. I have looked at these particular roses, which are closest to the recliner where I spend most of my time, for the last two or three nights. I like them at midnight, when the fireplace behind them is dark and they silhouette in interesting ways.

It's not a great sketch. Watercolor is a "dabbling" medium for me, not something I do often or seriously, though it's fun. But honestly, my goal was set pretty low. I was more interested in that re-establishing of the art connection than anything, and that felt good.

I often tell my students they should save the occasional early work so that later they can see their progress. I think that's what some of these sketches will be for me --the record of the changes as I get stronger, and begin to regain some skills.

Midnight Roses, watercolor, 1-12-13.


  1. Beautiful, Maggie! The roses will always be special to you! You are in my thoughts!

  2. The fact that you are still thinking, and writing in your wonderful eloquent artistic way, is proof enough that you WILL win this battle....we all just need to learn patience...artists are not reknowned for patience!! Well done Maggie...we are far away, but not in thought xx

  3. It is for sure like the first time you try something new or like when you took those pastels out for the first time years ago. Did you ever think you would have the success without the hard work? Keep trying to do the things you love Maggie I know it will all come back for you. My mother-in-law is starting her chemo next week. Life has some hard punches for sure keep plugging along day-by-day you will get better. I love your art, and happy to be a fb friend with you, as one of my online artist mentors if you will.... Prayers and best wishes for you!

  4. I recently was advised by a dear friend that the greatest songs ever written were done so through the tears of the artist. Sometimes we can only see through a veil & the picture can be obscured somewhat, but at least we are able to "see"...keep "looking", Maggie...we are praying for you. Your roses are beautiful to us!

  5. Maggie, I am so glad you picked up those paints and brushes. Beautiful testament to your strength. You WILL come through this. I keep you in my thoughts, sending love from both of us. Bless you.

  6. I am delighted that you went with your instinct Maggie and painted. Your roses are beautiful. x

  7. Maggie, what you said help me to clarify why was so important for me to go to my studio on my first day home from the hospital and at least put down a few strokes of pastel on my painting in progress. I thank you. What a sweet reconnection with the artist in you.

  8. I am so glad you are painting and I agree with the other commenters, these flowers are BEAUTIFUL --- You painted them under these new circumstances and refuse to give up! BOOYAH! I hope you'll keep painting and posting. Thank goodness you are still here to make art and that is the most important thing. I only know you via the internet, and I hope this is ok to say......I'm awfully proud of you. ♡

  9. Like the others, I'm very happy for you that you are reconnecting with art--and its beauty. There is something very healing for the soul, for the psyche, in the act of creating. It's like a meditation and connection in itself. Be kind to yourself. Be aware, as you are now, of the accomplishments you've made in these Midnight Roses and give yourself to the beauty in the art; you are more beautiful than the roses you've drawn.

  10. Maggie...thank you for Midnight Roses. Something you said really hit home..."I need to know I am who I still am...". My mother has been bedridden for the past couple of months and your words helped me understand that she is feeling this way also...that she too has a need to know she still is who she is...not who she was. I think I shall go sit with her and reconnect with who she is... Midnight Roses speaks volumes to's beautiful Maggie...thank you

  11. Hello Maggie,

    We have never met but I heard about your situation at the Pastel Society meeting today. I wish you the very best in recovery and return to painting.

    If I may share a story of hope with you I'll tell you that my brother-in-law was diagnosed with brain cancer about 5 years ago. Thankfully, he is still with us. Since he then lived in Brooklyn he was treated at Sloan Kettering and still is now that he moved to NM (Tajique). His wife has managed his diet with only natural and organic foods and eliminated sugar. Whether that has anything to do with his recovery or not we don't venture a guess. He is on anti-convulsives and chemo. His life style has changed. He is slower now. He had formerly taught lighting and set design at NYU. Now he does marvelous pieces of woodworking that he picked up by having worked in the Fechin home in Taos. So he does continue his creative life but a slower pace. Sometimes we are "told" when we need to slow down a little. I have great hopes for you and your creative life.

    Much hope,
    Marie Fritz

  12. Hi Maggie,

    I've felt inertia about painting for the last 3 days and after reading about your watercolor adventure, I am all inspired again. I will be back at the easel tomorrow a.m., thanks to your inspiration - as it was in the beginning for me at that first pastel workshop with you in KC - you are still inspiring me. Thank you for being who you are! The roses definitely look like the work of the Maggie I know. Thinking of you every day...Lorraine

  13. Thank you for continuing to share, it was very therapeutic for me to just be able to get it out. This thing may cause change but the real Maggie is already shining past the circumstances. Your roses are perfect, lovely and meaningful. You are an inspiration and blessing,