Over the first year that I took painting from Randy my use of wide brush strokes with thick paint evolved as I continued using bright colors. I would move from periods of trance-like painting in my mother's poorly lit garage to finalizing my work in the bright classroom and wonder how on earth I saw things the way I did. When I produced one three armed rendering of a fellow flight attendant and used cadmium orange to represent black hair of another, I was surprised my patrons were willing to pay good money for them. While I was no Matisse, I was unconsciously following in the steps of a painter who might have understood my need to move through the literal world into a realm of experimentation and discovery. I was spitting things out onto the canvas so I could better understand what was going on inside me. If people enjoyed my work I was thrilled but that usually came as a rare accident.
It was only much later that I began to show interest in subjects outside myself; things like flowers, vases and even horses, interesting shapes that allowed me to explore a sense of movement through contrasting colors, lines and brush strokes. And as Randy continued to encourage me to use a range of tones and hues, my flatness slowly evolved to something approaching space and depth.
It was during my early flat period that I met Robyn. I had been encouraged by Dr. Lebensohn to find outlets for a spiritual life and my creativity. Now he insisted I address my preference for my own company and jigsaw puzzles: triggers for isolation, loneliness and more mental health problems he believed. So once I'd started going to church and attending art classes, Dr. Lebensohn's velvet voice directed me to find people to meet and have conversations with. As a respectful patient, I forced myself to be open to this, wondering where in the small town of Warrenton I could possibly find people I would find interesting after my wild and over stimulated life. It was while drawing on the streets of Warrenton that I was introduced to the idea of meeting the new owner of the Town Duck.
To be continued ...