Hanging on to summer as long as I can, such as it is in upstate New York this year, I have been spending as much time as possible outside, away from my computer, as much as I can.
Although I have not worked on it since May 2014, I have resumed working on it with intentions to complete the drawing by September 1st…in time for the Wellsville Art Association Annual Member Show. I am not an expert in the use of colored pencils. I am enjoying exploring this media.
On a more personal note, this image has become a composite of multiple characters and sacred geometry & colors which influence, empower, and reflect me on this journey into the world of arachnoiditis. I explored this symbolism during the Root:30 Day Journal Project with Lisa Sonora Beam and The Mandala Project from my show Around Now In A Square Time.
The Platypus is a new totem which represents a new dimension of the character of the person I am now.
The Arachnoiditis Survivor Portrait Project has been designed to permit me to make composite drawings of other survivors. Using imagery of traits, characteristics, and interests, these portraits will depict an image of the person NOT the “patient”. When I have accumulated what feels like enough of these drawings, I will host a public exhibition to increase awareness and prevention efforts. The collection will become a portrait of what it means to live with arachnoiditis. Hopefully, this will take place some time in 2015.
My first interview is with an Arachnoiditis Survivor in South Bend, Indiana. He is also a survivor of the 2012 Fungal Meningitis Outbreak. I am looking forward to meeting him and hope that I can do justice to his story. ~Sheila L. Kalkbrenner