Abstractions of the Dangerous Kind

by lbgettings

Curious Abner

Curious Abner licked a toad; at least he thought it so.
For a moment or so it looked like a toad, from head to warty toe.
“However” he said, “I’m not so sure, for time seemed awfully slow…. whatever it was that I did lick, I’m not sure that I know.”
He pondered a moment and then, “Aha, perhaps it was a stool, upon which sat a warty toad and made me such a fool.
“ ‘Twas the shape” said he “of which I’m not, so sure I’ll ever know….but lick I did and shape be damned, I think it’s time to go.”
Ab up and left; so there you are. Formless

Artist that I have always been, I began as small child using my skills with pen and pencil, drawing and learning and categorizing the beasts and birdies. Until the onset of puberty I was fascinated with perfection, recreating what I thought I saw, sometimes drawing a single feature 100 times until my hand became accustomed to working without me. At age eleven I began to notice that the image I “knew” as Lee was changing form. The result of this observation was a sudden spate of questions about what exactly reality was. I experimented by drawing and by painting, keeping me eye on the subject matter, never looking at the canvas, the paper or the modeling clay. I learned that the hand which now had the power to freely interpret the commands from my brain was giving looser and looser interpretations of those instructions. One day as I puzzled over the results of a morning’s work, I rubbed my eyes. As I did so I began to notice brilliant splashes of light and color, the visual protests of rods and cones. I opened my eyes, looked around me and closed them again. By day’s end I had produced two abstract paintings using this technique which gave me joy. That particular “Curious Abner” episode in my young life was over in less than a year. Today, I am losing my sight to macular degeneration, damaged retinas, glaucoma, myopia and one remaining cataract, and I wonder, Was it Worth it? You betcha.




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