I don’t think of myself as old. I think of myself as a person who has been young for a very, very long time. Except for a couple of things. The other day I was just walking along and I was stopped in my tracks by my ankle. And pain. When I limped to the doc, he said, “It doesn’t take much to cause an injury at our age.” Funny. He’s about 20 years younger than me. He probably got a very high grade in ‘Bedside Manner’ at medical school.
Today’s watercolor experiment:
The idea of fragility and temporary condition of good health came home to roost the other day, big time, when a loved one got some terrifying news at the doctor’s office. There is chance that this person could lose vision. As a visual person myself, I can’t think of anything that would diminish my lust for life more than loss of vision.
The watercolor below is my attempt to imagine what it might be like to have severely reduced vision.
I began by washing the top and bottom of the paper with quinacridone purple and quinacridone, leaving the middle strip unpainted, as if the eyelids were nearly closed. I used my flesh color mix (cadmium red deep, yellow ochre and titanium white) to paint over the darkened background to suggest the faces that I lightly sketched in pencil. I used quinacridone nickel for the hair. The final wash was Prussian blue, that I laid on as a heavy tint. I did not apply the Prussian blue to the faces.
I have not read descriptions of the type of diminished vision caused by the condition the doctor mentioned. I imagined what it might be like if one could only see clearly in a thin horizontal strip, with the rest of the visual field darkened.
Diminishment is a terrifying prospect indeed.