2019

Artist Statement

 In March of 2019 I had a home accident. I became turned around in the middle of the night as I was going to the bathroom. I felt myself off balance so I projected myself toward that I thought was the middle of the bed. I wanted to fall on something soft to cushion my fall, and instead of landing on the soft bed as I thought I would, I took a header into the wooden door jam and the floor.About 60 seconds later I got up, and went back to bed.up. My wife asked if I was okay. I had an instant headache so I took Ibuprofen, put an ice pack on my head, and another sleeping pill to help me sleep. The next morning when I woke up and I noticed a huge contusion on my face. I had just begun working a new job, and I didn’t want to take time off. I went to work.

After 3 days, and lots of convincing and concerned friends telling me to go to the doctor I eventually did. I was seeing stars, vivid neon auras around people, I had searing headaches, my eyes felt like popcorn dancing around my brain. I could not stop my eyes from darting around. I could not look at light or even be in light. I had to wear sunglasses indoors. I had to wear a towel over my head when in a car. I was having afterimages that physically hurt my brain. The afterimages were of neon colors (much like the brain scans people are used to seeing, with parts of the brain lit up in green, yellow, pink, and orange).  After I went to the ER and found there was no brain bleeding, I followed up with my family physician. 

I was told I shouldn’t drive, not that I could stay focused on the road, anyhow. I could not look at blue screens: the television, my cell phone, the computer, anything that had a glowing light was off limits. In all honesty, I didn’t have the ability to look at these devices they were entirely too bright.It was suggested to me to not make art. I had to ride in a car with my hands over my eyes (It’s called palming.) There were many times I was severely nauseous due to all the overwhelming stimuli. Parking lots were difficult because there were so many cars, grocery stores were impossible because of all the images. I began noticing details of objects I had seen a million times, but my brain is processing slower.  My family physician referred me to a neurologist who specializes in the brain/vision connection, one of the few people in the United States studying this particular therapy. I felt so fortunate to be able to rely on a neurologist doing experimental cutting edge work.

It’s been 5 months since I had the accident.  I have a traumatic brain injury. It is slow going but I am healing. Currently I have new vision therapy glasses. They help my brain feel better; they have blue lenses, do something with fractals, and there is tape over the inside of the eyeglasses near the nose, to force my eyes to look in the right direction.

I began my NEON FACES series as a way to deal with the world I was experiencing. I was seeing everything in neon colors. I started by making a few neon drawings. A few drawings turned into many. Currently I am working in both a small format and on large scale paintings. I am creating drawings on neon paper. I am spray painting large scale paintings with neon colors, and have started a series of neon color field paintings in oils. Exciting new work in a new direction.

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