When the Spirits Were Freed

When the Spirits Were Freed, scratchboard, 18" x 24", 2015
When the Spirits Were Freed, scratchboard and ink, 18″ x 24″, 2015

My beloved friend Jeanne died on Monday at the age of fifty-two. I met her about nine and a half years ago and we became very close. I always described her as my art buddy. I fell away from having artist friends to discuss artwork with until we met. It turned out we had gone to the same college where we studied art (Purchase College) but not at the same time. I am older. One of our last art discussions was about this piece, which I worked on for a very long time and finished last week. Jeanne texted me once that she thought I had a breakthrough with this drawing. I texted back that it was a psychotic breakthrough. As Jeanne began fading away from this world she asked me how the squirrels were coming along. I think my next piece will be a painting of squirrels for Jeanne. One of the most amazing and inspiring things about Jeanne was that almost throughout her entire illness she made art everyday. She used to say that if it wasn’t for her art she wouldn’t be able to make it day to day through her illness.


  1. My sister had two magnificent sons, one of whom died in early adulthood from a brain disorder in which the myelin sheath enrobing nerves gradually frayed like old worn socks. The other son ultimately died from an explosive brain injury which lay in wait for many years. This drawing shocked me for having exactly visualized heretofore subliminal images of their spirits. The juxtaposition of bird of flight amongst tangled web comforted my soul which knows that flight is not dependent upon clarity nor order, but rather the wild urge to venture into the unknown.


    1. Thank you so much for your comment, which moves me very much. I make my art in my own world and I find it so extraordinary when someone can so directly relate to it.


  2. I’m so sorry you lost your friend Nancy. It sounds as though you probably both enhanced your lives with your friendship and this will take you forward with your art in the future. Lots of good memories! Look forward to the squirrels!


  3. What a beautiful friendship.. to share and experience art together. A squirrel painting is such a wonderful way to honor your friend.. it touches my heart. Thank you for sharing this, I am so sorry for your loss.


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