…be easier on yourselves……Treat yourself.
says Pauline Boss, who named the psychological condition of ambiguous loss. (See The Art Caravan post about it here.) She asserts that we are experiencing grief for our losses during this pandemic. No kidding. Some days- okay! many days – it feels like the world is spinning out of control. (I think the phrase, selectively used by my mother and grandmother, going to hell in a hand basket, is à propos.)
Dr. Boss also recommends that we acknowledge our sadness, stay in touch and be kind with others, establish rituals, and practise self care, as much as possible.
But be easier on yourselves and normalize it. Knowing that grief — those feelings that you described — are essentially normal. So just take the day off, or do something easy on yourself. Treat yourself.
Who are we to argue with Pauline Boss? Exactly.
The Art Caravan offers Red Roses Sonata and Cherry Blossom Symphony by Alma Thomas as our treats for today.
I hope you can see this in person some day. It shimmers. It vibrates. It’s mesmerizing. It is remarkable.
Red Roses Sonata was an unexpected treat for me as I wandered one afternoon through the overwhelming abundance of the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. (You know the feeling: so much good art, but dwindling energy, and the is it too early for a tea break thought?) It interrupted the mid-afternoon museum shuffle and my drifting attention. It was a beacon of energy that demanded my focus. I remember being almost giddy seeing it.
No surprise, really, that I had never heard of the artist, Alma Thomas. (We all know how much attention an African American woman of a ‘certain age’ garners. sigh) She was the first African American woman to have a solo show at the Whitney, in 1972. In an interview she said One of the things we couldn’t do was go into museums, let alone think of hanging our pictures there. My, times have changed. Just look at me now.
Her life is as remarkable as her work. She was a public school art teacher. Upon retirement in 1960, she painted full time and produced an extraordinary body of work in the expressionist style. The Smithsonian Magazine recently published a succinct article about her, with good images.
She is sometimes included in the color field or color school movements, although there is more energy and emotion in her work than is found in many of its practitioners. Cherry Blosson Symphony is in the show The Fullness of Color: 1960s Painting at the soon-to-be-reopened Guggenheim in NYC. More visual treats by Alma Thomas can be found at artsy.net.
Thank you for your gentle, good advice. This morning I had a massage, so taking your advice before reading it. Both of Thomas’s pieces were lovely, but Cherry Blossom Symphony knocked me out, reminding me of Tokyo, DC and Victoria . Why do you think she uses musical terms in naming her art?
Good question, Diane! On a superficial level, I guess we can see the rhythm in her work / brushstrokes like there is rhythm in music. She lived in DC most of her life, so she was more than familiar with the cherry blossoms.
How nice to discover a new artist and what a great story to go with her wonderful work!
Thanks, Trish. She’s a fascinating person, really.