Monday, August 31, 2015

Fragile Line of Life and Death

 Perhaps it was the emotive full moon, or remembering loved ones passed, and more likely a combination of all of this with my own scare of a bad case of cellulitis in my face spurred by a hideous mysterious spot, that I came to a place of pondering that fragile line of life and death. Did you know it's possible to get the chicken pox every 20 years? Well sort of.. it's called shingles. I didn't have chicken pox as a child. I got them with my 4 year old when I was in my 30's. My recent ordeal was an unusual case. Only one spot, but lots of nervous system issues, tingling, numbness, frightful things when the diagnosis is unknown. Hence I feared cancer and then all those crazy thoughts come tumbling about not being able to be here in my family's lives. My doctor has me on a healing path, yet the fragile line of health and sickness and life and death filled my thoughts spurred by headlines and social media. My internal non verbal response comes out in art, specifically this work of art.
A photo posted by Robin Maria Pedrero (@robinpedrero) on

I'd been itching to do a pastel (not just due to shingles..itching..get it..) I so enjoy working in pastel. The immediacy and ability to keep working without drying time is so appealing to me. I also love the pure color!  I posted some in progress videos on facebook.
Here is the full version however I will be making some adjustments.

I study my work. This piece is not done. There are adjustments to be made to the use of green in the foreground. I also need to solidify the movement in the work. My inspiration for this piece was from our travels to the region of the Shenandoah Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. I began to work on the horizon line and I pulled up my files like this one here  from that trip. As I often do, I work from a series of images.  I pulled this concept from 7 photos, various scenes and close ups, so this is similar to aspects yet not a photographic copy.

As one creates our senses and thoughts go into the work.
 I saw a bad accident earlier in the news, where people lost their lives. I had a handyman project that I sure could have used my Dad's advice on yet he's no longer here to give it. I read countless posts on needs of prayer for healing. Empathy poured out as I have just a few weeks of this sickness and some people have years with theirs. Empathy over all the medicine some have to endure. The side effects. That fragile line of sickness and health. My dear friend lived her life with a disease then cancer came and stole her, and I read the cries of her daughter's who miss her so. There's that fragile line of life and death. My cousin recently crossed it. He could no longer function with Alzheimer's and chose to stop eating. I began to work but needed some references, as I scrolled my images there was one with a few trees and instantly I knew I needed to express this clinging life and death, the broken sickness and the colorful health. That is the trees in this piece.

That lingering feeling about life and death expands towards new life as I am focused on new life coming as a grandma to be with my pinterest stream full of new life and babies. Everywhere I go I see babies now.

The thunder busting through the cloudy sky and rain storms flooding through remind me of the natural life force of the earth. I think about energy. I think about spirit. I get lost in the colors and the memories of the beautiful land I visited. I relish in the details of the plant life, thorny yet beautiful.

Now all this has been part of the story of this landscape. Does it make the piece  sad, scary or empowering for you to know the backstory? If the title is the Fragile Line of Life and Death is that too strong? It's a pretty piece for such a strong title, perhaps not....

Thanks for spending time with me and my art and taking part in my process. Forgive my imperfect grammar.
I always appreciate your comments and shares.

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Cyn Rogalski said...

I'm so glad to read your thoughts on this piece, Robin. You've given it a soul that I didn't notice before.

So authentic...beautiful.

Robin Pedrero said...

Thank you Cyn!

Jaime Haney said...

As beautiful as this piece as, it is even more so now that I know the backstory. Very powerful. I'd keep the name.

On a side note, I have a home remedy sworn to me that it gives nearly instant relief from shingles. I'll be happy to share if you are suffering with them still.

Robin Pedrero said...

thank you Jaime! Sure let's hear it!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the back story, Robin. I saw immediately the line between life and death in the 2 trees, but I did not know of all that influenced this. [I am sure you recall my lone dead tree painting of the Blue Ridge Parkway.] I am also glad you got a solution quickly on the soreness, that it was after all only (!) shingles. Everyone over 50 who has had chicken pox needs the shingles vaccination, as a full blown case of shingles will make you unable to even get dressed (so I have heard - I got the vaccination.) Not sure why you got it so early in life, unless it is because you got the pox so late.

The question of life versus death, and pain, has caused me to inquire from an academic viewpoint only, on the wisdom of the doctor-assisted suicide laws as practiced in Oregon, but forbidden in FL. This is a work in progress. Your fellow artist, Dana Schmidt

Robin Pedrero said...

Thank you Dana!