December 19, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Regarding ‘Synapses and Clairvoyance’ from 12/16/13

'The upshot of all this is: I knew I had to paint yet one more image. So I did, and this is it.'

By Liz Simon

Trips & Quips

Liz Simon is a photographer, writer and cyclist who likes to combine the three in her quest to discover the nooks and crannies of New Mexico. Sometimes, means of transportation other than bicycle are employed---including the Rail Runner and motorcycle.


What I didn't include in that article was how that session in my studio ended. I've come to think of it as "Out of The Blue." I didn't have the energy to write anymore about it.

When I had completed "I Salute" I was relieved (understatement) that I was finished with the whole thing! I knew I was finished because life appeared to be returning to normal…sort of. I was tired from it, and tired of it, frankly. This is NOT my idea of a good time. I'd much rather be out on the ski slope tearing around at Mach 4. Maybe the focus which sports like that require are a kind of insulation, or safe zone, or even a shield, protecting me from heavy stuff just like this. 
Be that as it may, after those first three paintings, I sat down in one of the comfortable chairs in the studio and decided that I'd eat an apple, and rest up a bit before leaving. But, being a "smart ass" at heart, even in the worst of times, I said right out loud for no one to hear: "Well, that was certainly enjoyable. Oh yea. That's what I call a real good time. So, tell me, are there any other dead ones out there, or walking wounded, who would like to step up and have me paint a picture? Don't be shy." (Moral to follow: Be careful what you ask for.)
I WAS KIDDING! It was just a release of some kind. I got a laugh from my own "joke."
But, as I sat there, relaxing, for a half hour or so, I started sensing, or feeling…a friend who had passed away over a year ago. I used to ski with this man and he was part of a small ski group at Ski Santa Fe for a while. He was also a physician. (Now I'm beginning to think that there's "something" with me and physicians. I'm going to keep my distance from now on.)
The upshot of all this is: I knew I had to paint yet one more image. So I did, and this is it. The process felt the same, although not nearly as anguished. And, once again, the words seemed not to come from me, but rather THROUGH me. I just went with it and only one image emerged. I thought it was pretty, unlike the others. Here it is, still taped onto the wall for this photo. The edges became straight once I took off the tape. I liked it both ways.
I have since given this image to the man's widow. She said that the title, "answered" a question that she had been obsessing about in private for almost a year. I don't know what that means frankly. It's probably something that every widow, or spousal-survivor, obsesses about.
I'll probably never really and truly KNOW what went on there in that studio, but the pictures are what they are I guess…for want of something better to say about them.