Oh Yeah, Art Imitates Life

Salmon Heads (They Beat Themselves Bloody for the Opportunity to Spawn) by jparadisi 2006

Recently returned from a family trip, I turn my attention to a new project. September is a busy month.

In October, I’m exhibiting the paintings of From Cradle to Grave: The Color White , at Anka Gallery, in Portland, Oregon. As I write this post, David, my husband, is photographing the paintings in our living room/photography studio. David earned an Associate Degree in Television Production Arts before becoming a pharmacist. His technical skills support my small success as an artist and writer over the years. He understands the dual personae of  artist and health care provider.

The photographs serve as documentation of the series. Documenting artwork isn’t much different from documenting patient care in a chart. I describe the piece (or the patient), what I did, how I did it, and describe the conclusion in an artist statement. As an artist and nurse, I get lots of practice documenting people and things.

Besides making the paintings, and documenting them, I have to think about the exhibition as a whole. Neglecting to consider how each painting relates to another on a wall is like spending an entire shift in the ICU  focused on a patient’s respiratory care  for improved blood gas results, but overlooking the patient is running a fever and not treating it. Despite a shift of good work, the oncoming nurse will point out the obvious mistake to you, and you will feel foolish.