"Reaching Out" oil on cradled wood panel, started April finished May 2020 in my studio in Scottsdale, AZ. The image is a Giant Pacific Octopus. I generally do wildlife and nature images but this year has become the year of the octopus. "Reaching Out" is the second in a series of works of these unique and amazingly intelligent creatures.
How I came about wanting to paint octopuses. Many years ago I had a head/neck injury. When working with physical therapist, I was asked to describe how the pain moved in my head. As, I was thinking about this, I saw this movement of reaching out and guiding the flow of the pain. I realized it was kind of like an octopus, it was my guide in helping me tell the doctors and therapist the path the nerve pain was traveling.
How does this apply to 2020? I kept having images, art work, stories come to me about octopuses over the years, but 2019 going into 2020 the images became a daily event. I felt like it was time, I had the time, so no excuses, I needed to paint this image that has literally been in my head for many years. Reaching Out became in addition to my guide, my thoughts of missing contact with friends and family. Finding new ways to make connections, to see people via technology. To extend through this painting the need to reach out and find the touch.
This painting has been my way of maintaining my sanity. With so much craziness in the world, within our country working on a detail oriented painting kept me focused. This type of painting for me was like meditation, I had to let go of the outside world for that time I was at the easel and enjoy the process.