Emotional Trauma

Emotional Trauma, an original watercolor by Woody Hansen
DETAIL – Emotional Trauma>. Original watercolor by Woody Hansen
(Click image to view entire painting)



This painting was started at a recent Free Friday session. I didn’t have a value plan, choosing instead to paint directly on the paper. The approach was to attempt to simply create an interesting, nonobjective design. As I recall, it was the second of two paintings attempted that day. Each went unfinished. While I didn’t know it at the time, it was to be Rio’s last day at the American River (see previous post).

The following afternoon i had a scheduled watercolor demonstration. After beginning the demo painting I reached a point at which I wanted the piece to dry before continuing. On a whim, I decided to work on one of the two paintings I had begun at the river the day before.

The major national news story of the time centered around the destruction caused by the raging waters of the mighty Mississippi. I think it fair to note much of the nation was emotionally touched by images of televised devastation. At some point I commented the images on paper reminded me of the destructive power of rampaging water. That afternoon the painting almost reached a state of completion. Almost, but not quite.

The next day, upon reflection the painting seemed to suggest as much about my own feeling of recent personal loss as it might have about national loss – after all, national loss is personal loss magnified. A final wash, a few additional touches here and there. and it was done, finished, the end. Like life, a painting has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

As the saying goes, the trouble with “art: is it’s subjective. The beauty of “art” is it’s subjective. One never truly knows for sure if he is on target. In the long run, it probably doesn’t have to matter to anyone other than the creator of the painting.

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