Monday, April 30, 2012

The perils of parenthood



So, last night was the night that all parents fear, the "call" that comes after your child was involved in a serious auto wreck.  Thankfully, my son has lived, will mend from the injuries, and live to enjoy another day.

It was a strange sort of day, since I had a premonition about this accident, I just did, as did my daughter.  We were talking about it over lunch yesterday, that she just had a dream about Anthony having a car accident, and that frightened me, because I had a similar dream a few nights before.  For the rest of the day, this growing kernel of fear took root inside of me, and I paced all day in the yard like a caged animal, praying I was just being a paranoid and superstitious mother.  I prayed and prayed while I was pacing and contemplating, praying that if it was to be, to see him safely through it.  If anyone was to go, please take me away and not him.  I couldn't bear the loss of any child, just like any other parent fears.  I had myself worked up into a state at this point, that when he left to go to work, I was feeling helpless, but didn't want to show my fear and for him to think I had come unhinged or something.  I just mustered a cheery, "Have a nice night at work!"  and then added, "Please call me when you get there."  He just looked at me with exasperation and laughed, and then drove away.

I know it only takes an average of 15 minutes to get to work, and I bit my nails for 30, and then sent him a text message.  When he sent me one back, I felt a degree of relief, but still not totally settled, so I decided to meet with some old friends for coffee and settle these silly jitters.  I had an enjoyable evening, and as I drove home, I knew Anthony would be arriving around the same time as I would, approximately 9:20 p.m, since his shift let out at 9:00 p.m.  My daughter called and asked if I could pick up a soda for her at the store, and added, "And pick up a Monster for Anthony" which is his craving lately, and that immediately put my fears to rest, since I assumed he was home, which is why she asked me to get him a drink as well.

I pulled in later than intended after stopping for gas and their drinks, at around 9:35 pm.  As I walked up the drive into the house, I notice Anthony's car wasn't there, and a creeping sense of panic began to build inside of me.  I walked into a dark house, plopped their drinks on the counter, and immediate began calling for everyone, with no answer.  Noelle came out of my office, looking puzzled, asking, "What's up Mom?"  I asked her urgently, "Where is Anthony?"  She said quite innocently, "I don't know.  At work?"  I knew something was wrong immediately.  It was as if an alarm began to ring inside my body.  I began to panic as I fumbled around looking for my cellphone and keys, because I was going to go look for him.

Mark tried to calm me, saying he probably just stopped for gas also, or maybe at a store, but I knew different.  On my second phone attempt to reach him on the way out the door, I did.  The EMT.  Anthony has been in a car accident.  He's hurt and on his way to the hospital.  He's conscious though, so that's a good thing.  He's got some head and facial injuries, a lot of lacerations, possible broken shoulder, possible broken leg, etc.  I listened to this, with the sirens blaring in the background, and then, finally Anthony's sad and shaky voice, and I just about died from the relief of hearing him talk to me.

We got to the scene of the accident involuntarily.  The quickest route to the hospital is the quickest route home for Anthony as well, and as we pulled up, the road was closed off as several fire trucks, police officers and other rescuers were on the scene cleaning it up.  I ran up, not knowing if there were other victims involved, but it was only Anthony's car.  He had went down a 20 foot embankment off the road, swerving to miss a dog or similar animal (he said it was brown like a dog, but not a deer), and lost control and plunged off the road into a ravine where a creek runs through.  I looked at the car and the damage, and just was amazed he had survived, all glass smashed, twisted and destroyed car...horrifying.

When I got to the hospital, they wanted to "clean him up" a little before I saw him, code for, stitch up his face.  25 Large stitches.  No plastic surgeon on hand, but, he's a guy, so Isaac was joking now they can call him "Tony Montana."  He found it amusing, so we were able to have a few laughs to lighten the mood.

Arrived home with him, battered, drugged, and sore, at around 1:25 a.m., after all x-rays came back negative, some spine straightening which means whiplash, and an MRI followup for his shoulder since he can barely move it (they think possible rotator cuff), a tetanus shot for all of the various cuts all over his arms, low dose aspirin for the large hematomas he has on his legs, but, he's alive and that's all else will get fixed with time.

So, God had a plan, and Anthony's angels were working overtime last night.  We don't know why things happen the way the do, and what's coming around each bend, for real. Each of our fate is completely out of our own hands. Another boy went home to Heaven last night in a car accident in another part of town.  Anthony knew him too, and this was very shocking to hear this as he was laying on the gurney waiting to go for more x-rays.  We never know when our time will come, and this poor boy's family went home devastated for their loss, and for that, my heart breaks for them. I cry to even write it, knowing what awful, unquenchable grief will come now.  I pray for them and will keep praying for them.

Every day with your people is a gift.  I had a really good reminder of that.  I hope no one else has to have that reminder.  Give them all a good, long hug today.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

HilaryJ England

HilaryJ England

http://hilaryjengland.artistswanted.org/atts2012

Here is my paintings that will be featured in "Art Takes Times Square" these coming months.  Please use the link to visit my page, and vote me up!!! (it's called "collecting")

Thanks Friends!!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fever: 1793 — Episode 2 of Philadelphia: the Great Experiment





So, for my friends that didn't get to see the post on Facebook, here is the episode of "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment" Documentary on NBC that my painting "Salem cemetery in Autumn" is being shown in. 

A friend of mine commented that he especially likes the way the painting segues into a live scene with a priest presiding over a funeral, a live version of the painting.  It's pretty cool. 

NBC was kind to give us living artists credit in the end of the show credits for our consulation and the use of the images, etc. since they really used a lot of historical artwork (by deceased artists of course) throughout the entire series.

So, look carefully at the 7:09 to 7:12 time marker for the painting, and then 7:12 to 7:15 for the reeanactment of the painting, and I have my 6 seconds of my 15 minutes of fame, hahaha!!!

Seriously though, I was honored to work on a bit of historical film, since I am a huge fan of history and historical literature, music, of course art, and recently, film.  This was a cause I was happy to lend my artwork to be in, and, I got to learn a lot about Philadelphia I never knew, which was very interesting.

So, that's that folks.  Enjoy!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Bright blue Spring sky, yellow field, one red poppy" by Hilary J. England, 2012, 8" x 11"

So, all of the holidays and birthdays are done now, THANK GOD.  I don't think my nerves or my wallet could withstand anymore, hehe...

I've been out and about, with the area being in full-bloom, and so much beautiful color everywhere, I just don't know where to look first.  It's strange, because of the weird "winter" we had this year, everything bloomed early, or just in an odd pattern, with daffodils springing up, and withering in some cases, and then, there was this.  In the middle of a yellow field filled with new grass or hay or whatever this blooming mass of grass-like growth was on a farm-field, was a surreal, rogue poppy flower.  I didn't pick it, just painted it.  I don't want to wear out my welcome on any farm, or worse, get shot with salt ;-)

The sky was intensely blue, yet with thunderclouds behind me, so I had to move fast.  So, here is the result of a rapid study...I can still see the rogue red poppy in front of me and smile.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Female model at Barnstone" 18" x 24" conte on hardpressed bristol, 2012
Close-up of drawing
God, the inside of my nightstand drawer is just insane.  A gun, knives, pills, bullets, old love letters,  old greeting cards, new and old painting concepts, a few random vitamins...old pictures.  I guess it would be a psychiatrist's buffet!!  Is that nutty?  Perhaps.  Throw random cigarette ashes into the mix, and it's the cement that holds the insanity together...hehe.  I think I will do a painting of it.  It will be very interesting.  I don't usually do still life because, it's so, still.  I hate inanimate objects, to be blunt.  They bore me stiff.  But, haven't done some in a while, and this may perk my interest.  Yes, I am egotistical.

Anyway, had an amazing night at Barnstone...lately, I've been cranky and dreading Monday drawing sessions.  I love the old man...he is just beyond description when it comes to my admiration of him, his amazing genius, his tenacity, his wit...and ultimately, his good heart underneath a gruff exterior. I have known him since the early 90s, and could be here till next Sunday listing all the things I admire about him,  but, with recent events, I've been thoroughly worn out, and having my work torn down, even if it was under the guise of spurring me to new heights, began to wear on me, and make me depressed.  After all, this is the one thing I know I am good at, and a part of me deeper than (please don't take it the wrong way) even any person on earth...it is truly my connection to God, although we have a constant ongoing battle because I am mostly an imbecile. 

The drawing above was done tonight in 45 minutes.  I wish I had more time to develop it further, but that's OK.  Lately, I seem to have ADD...but, once I get into my zone, how I love to be there...it's a beautiful place that makes everything worthwhile...but, those times are not usually the norm.  Most times, it's a struggle, and a dastardly one.

So, over my tremendously salty roasted chicken supper at the local diner, I began to wonder in a depressed manner whether all of this was worth it...and, if you are not an artist, no offense, it will be hard for you to understand the depth of this feeling...after all, you can always find another job, or be validated at least daily by your clients, patients, customers, whatever.  Being an artist is a lonely journey, to put it mildly.  I began to feel  a cranky feeling of, why the hell do I do what I do?  Why?

Now, here is where I will differ and give my version...and not the globalist "Miss America" version many artists spout nowadays...talking about unifying the world, inspiring global peace, or some other Postmodernist crap.  I simply do it because I can't NOT do it.  I have had the urge to create and record the beauty and times we live in, sometimes with words, mostly with paintings.

 I create to send my voice out into the vast wilderness we live in, and hope other souls that are grappling in the darkness will connect with the humanity of my painted insight at that very moment, whether it's a solitary landscape, or a figurative painting.  It's my connection to this universe, and the earth that we inhabit.  I wish I could give some sterile reason, some aloof explanation as to why I do what I do, but I can't.  I am simple.  I am complex.  I love the beauty of this world, and it consumes me.  I hate people, and I love them beyond the expanse of my heart.  I don't know if you can understand, but the order, symmetry, complexity, and immaculate beauty of the physical world enthralls me.  So, there it is. 

Why do I do it?  Because I have to, or I'll die.  My whole existence will be invalidated.  I worry about dying and if I make it to Heaven, what if I am not a painter???  This terrifies me.  What if this is the only time through eternity I get to do the very thing that IS who I am.  This entity, that lives just outside of me, is truly who I am...who I confer with, who always whispers in my ear...who has been with me since my first thought...what will I do if we are not unified in eternity?  If I don't get to paint in the halls of Heaven?  Or Hell?  Utterly terrifying.

So, that's the basics of my obsession, my drive to create, in an extremely abridged and simplistic edition.  Strange but true.  Hope you can get it, without being scared, offended, or baffled.  Now, the sky is crystal clear, and the tendrils of new grass and spring flowers fills the air after the rain, so I must go breath it deeply...

Study of eyes

"Study of eyes" by Hilary J. England, Conte on paper I have been studying certain body parts that I find fascinating, and you can ...