Tide Lines

5 07 2016
"Tide Lines," 18" x 36" Hand-dyed Tissue-paper Collage on Canvas Panel, by Rebekah Luke

“Tide Lines,” 18″ x 36″ Hand-dyed Tissue-paper Collage on Canvas Panel, by Rebekah Luke, 2016.

This is the collage I most recently completed, varnished, and signed. It’s reproduced small here, but the actual piece measures 18″ x 36″. I’m working more with tissue paper collage than with oil paint these days, though I am giving private oil painting lessons to one student this summer. She remarked, “I can’t imagine giving up painting forever, can you?” “Actually,” I thought to myself but didn’t say out loud, “now I can.”

Just as the tide flows in and out, so does my health. Some months ago with physical pain in my right wrist, a doctor asked, “What do you do?” I replied, “I’m a fine art painter.” He bluntly said, “Stop painting.” Can you imagine? I couldn’t. But I gradually gave in. I stopped painting. I stopped computering on my laptop so much. I stopped texting with my thumbs.

Then I started making art with tissue paper that I hand dyed in Susan Rogers-Aregger’s class. Painting with paper, if you will. The motions of applying glue with a flat brush and carving with an X-Acto knife differ from the motion of holding my oil painting brush overhand, I observed. My wrist got better.

Now, when I demonstrate with paint on canvas just once a week for my student there is a hint of soreness, the pain returns. I asked my physical therapist how this happens all of a sudden. The answer: years of repetitive motion. And yes, it’s been a lot of years!





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