Thursday, July 1, 2010

Some Thoughts About Beginnings and Ends

My grandmother is unfortunately not doing very well. I had visited her at the nursing home and noticed a slight discoloration on one of her cheeks. The nurses later realized that this was the beginning of jaundice. Since then we've discovered that she has pancreatic cancer so hospice has been called in to care for her. Obviously this is a horribly conflicted time for myself and my family. On one hand my grandmother has been slowly slipping away with dementia so her passing away can easily be viewed as a blessing. We believe that there is a heaven after death and therefore see death as a way to reach better things. However that doesn't stop us from mourning the imminent loss of one so dear to us.

On one of my recent visits with my grandmother I decided to do some sketches of her. She tends to sleep most of the time that you are with her so it can be a tad boring without something to do. I didn't have much in the way of supplies with me. Just a pen and my sketchbook. So I decided to just do some simple studies of her poor arthritic hands. It's horribly brutal sometimes how aging can affect our bodies. When I was home looking over the sketches I realized that I had used the page directly across from a quick color study that I had done for a painting that I am working on. The painting is for a friend who wishes to have it to celebrate the upcoming birth of her grandson. The amazing contrast between these two images stunned me momentarily. It's amazing how we all begin as these beautiful glowing perfect little babies and then end up so fragile and deformed as we reach our death. Another thought that crossed my mind is what if we are really just making a complete circle in our lives? Going from being birthed into this new world as a helpless creature, living life and then ending up a helpless creature yet again before we are "birthed" into the next life.


  1. beautifully written blog & lovely sketches.

    i've recently been thinking the same...abotu the circle of life.

    many blessings for you, your grandmother, and your family.


  2. You think like a true artist... contrasting the opposite ends of life's journey. The newborn baby is as precious as the grandmother. I would love to draw that top picture, of your grandmother with her hat, glasses and pearls... chin in her hand, pondering... It tells a wonderful story.
    Thanks for sharing this post.