I started painting the white background on the custom canvases-64 square feet (4-4 foot canvases). The brush I am using is 1″ and it is clear that I should have used a roller! This is an absolutely huge painting that gives a lot of time to think about things as you work on it. I like to keep tabs on what I think about when painting certain things. Painting is therapy and the huge white canvas(es) are waiting for the artist to spill their thoughts upon it.
Today I imagined the Old Masters and their thoughts while painting some of their best works. Also, I wondered how much background noises had to do with their thoughts. In the 1600’s there were probably bird sounds and carriages pulled by horses. The click-clack of their feet in motion may have kept a beat used to stroke the painting at a certain pace, or maybe the noises threw off the artist’ concentration when trying to do intricate work.
Did the artist paint in solitude or was there an audience watching? Imagination is a wonderful thing which can take a person into a different realm of existence. I could turn into someone else while painting, I could find myself hanging by strings like a puppet while I paint, I could go as far as my imagination would carry me, or that I let it. In the medical field, an experience like that would be termed psychosis. I once read that artist view life differently.
What I have noticed is that art and critical care or emergency nursing could complement one another but do not go well together. There are too many extenuating circumstances that get in the way. There are too many details that I see which overwhelms me so I try not to see anything beyond the issues at hand. If time slows down for some reason, it can be an asset, otherwise getting caught up in the details will often get you behind.
A good example is high blood pressure. A person may come to the emergency room for a completely different ailment. But as soon as the person walks in they may have a certain tone of color which changes from the neck up, a darker appearance to the skin. Although the blood pressure may be elevated, if it is not in the danger zone, it is not addressed as rigorously. The change in skin tone indicates a prolonged battle with high blood pressure sometimes known, sometimes not known.
Most people would not pick up on that subtle change but an artist can see it right away such as in the paleness of lips or especially the lower eyelid that reveals itself in anemia. It may prove useful for medical students to take classes in painting the human face and becoming aware of the natural colors of the skin when they are not related to diseases and when they are. Often times things are missed just because someone thinks it is a natural color.