Sign up to Follow by Email

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Grief Work"

Rockport, MA is a very special place for me and has always nourished my art. I used to say my car went there all by itself!  So it naturally came to pass that I had to take "Mom" there too. I set up right on the T wharf but instead of doing "Motif #1", the building that has inspired so many artists, I placed the chair on the pier high over the water, looking out to sea, through the jetties on either side. It was a gray day, cloudy, but comfortable. As often happens, many people stopped and enjoyed the work, and heard the story of the pink chair paintings. It was a 4 hour session, longer than usual because of the interruptions. I left the water empty until almost the last minute, when all of a sudden, a children's sailing school with small sailboats came tacking back home after their lesson. Without thinking, I quickly painted them into the piece, and it was almost done. The sky was pretty boring, all grey and kind of flat and I said kiddingly, "Mom, can you do something about that?" Within 15 minutes, the sky took on a interesting pattern of clouds with tiny bits of blue, which I gladly painted in......Later, after packing up the car, an extreme tiredness came over me. I could barely make it to the bench, where I laid down for a while. Ravenous, I finally got up, and still tired, barely made it to the restaurant. I ate quietly and again, barely made it back to the car. I have never been so tired after painting, and had felt none of it during the painting process. Later, showing the painting to my friend Teresa, a therapist, I told her the story. She said: Lynne, you are doing grief work. You need to plan a nap after every painting. I said I didn't actively feel sad or grief; I had just been painting. She said "Lynne, look at it! That is grief work if I ever saw it!" Then I saw the powerful message of that small (14x14) piece. I instantly knew the title.

"Lessons Learned, Sailing Home"


  1. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing this, Lynne.

    Alexandra Thayer, Plainfield, VT

  2. I really like what you are doing now. This is a very touching piece. What a contrast between the darkness of the sky (still beautiful) and the bright pink chair. So much like Mom, a flower blooming wherever planted and in whatever conditions life threw her way. Bravo!