Saving The Light

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My latest set of museum quality prints have been made from my original, watercolor and wax resist painting. They just arrived from my printer in Seattle. My printer, Carl at Color1Photo, makes giclee reproductions using inks rather than water-based materials, on German etching paper. The prints just sing with color very true to my original work. I slept for 4 days while the prints were made and delivered.

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The watercolor, wax resist process is tricky, and the process has taught me a life lesson. Hot wax is painted on areas of delicate rice paper, where one does not want any further paint to be laid down. So, if you want white or light-filled areas, you have to protect them by coating them with the hot wax. The wax cools quickly, those areas are protected, and further layers of color are then painted on the rice paper. I have to remember where I want light, and cover it with the wax.

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The light on pottery vases, on windows, and on the freshly hung wash, is eventually revealed when the cooled wax is ironed away. In the end, the piece of art has to be ironed repeatedly between pieces of newsprint so the wax is removed from the rice paper. At last, after much ironing, the light is seen in stark contrast to the darks that were laid down after the lights.

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And what is my lesson? Well, I am in the biggest fight for my life with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. It looks grim, dark, colorless, and gray on many of my days. I have little strength. However, I have life and light in my heart, soul and mind that I don’t want stolen by the darks. What is my “hot wax” I use to protect the light in my life? I “protect” or save that light by carefully remembering goodness, beauty and where my hope is in my life. I keep the dark layers from covering the lights through prayer, making beautiful art, listening to restorative music, receiving get well cards, talking with friends and family who love me, making myself see “grace sightings” or good that happens THAT day and being thankful, and by reading God’s light-filled words of truth and hope, even on the darkest days. I save the light. And, really, the light saves me.

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

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Here are a couple of pages from my art journal. On the right, you can see the scene, in Lucca, Italia, from which my painting is derived.

“Sunny Lucca”

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Sunny Lucca, Marcia Carole, wax resist on rice paper

I have been working on my art journal I am making of Lucca, Italia, and I came across the photo (below) I worked off of, for the above piece in a wax resist class. The wax resist piece is huge – about 20″ by 24″ so it’s much larger than the journal!! I am gluing down a small version of it in my journal, alongside the photo I snapped when walking on the wall in Lucca, Italy. Lucca is a lovely town in Tuscany where I have years of memories learning Italian, painting, eating great food, and just resting. It’s the one place where I have no allergy issues.

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Sunny Lucca photo, Marcia Carole, Lucca Italia

I’ll be heading to Lucca soon to spend time with my mentor, Marge, rest at sea level – getting the greatly needed oxygen my body lacks a bit in Colorado Springs – and I’ll spend some time being inspired by beauty. My soul is nourished in my dad’s homeland, and Lucca is familiar and friendly. For me, going to Italy, something I’ve saved for all year, is another way to fight cancer, enjoy my friendship with Marge, and just laugh a little within the beauty God gave Italy. Marge will push me to make some art – and that’s good, too! As you can see from the work above, I will be inspired by Italy and my time with Marge, long after we come home.

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Marge and Marcia Carole in Lucca, Italia