WITH THE PEARS?”
came into my life and seemed to flourish for years before I truly discovered
their significance and connection to my life. As long as I can remember,
I have enjoyed making things; whether they were
passing creations - drawngs in the sand, piles of sticks and stones configured
or more permanent creations like the installation I did in my parent’s
bathroom (at the ripe age of three) sucessfully covering every inch of
the textured wallpaper with varing shades of red lipstick.
In the early 90’s I was drawn to create on a more regular basis and
began making works/paintings using discarded wood, plywood, moulding, cabinet
doors, etc. — as my “
canvas”. While I had this strong sense of urgency to pick up these
salvaged materials and bring new life to them, I was at a loss for what kind
of images to create. It was a very push and pull experience. I would start
with just paints —
working abstracts with colors, hoping something or someone would emerge from
my endeavors. Slowly I became more comfortable and patient with the process.
Colorful landscapes and figures resembling animals began to appear. And then
one fateful night I created — seemingly from nowhere — a painting with three pears.
It seemed somewhat odd reflecting on it later, since I had no known connection
to this plump little fruit.
The pears then started appearing in my work on a very regular basis, still
without much thought, but it seemed very natural and comforting to paint
them. They would
turn up in still lifes, or rows, next to each other and in little “rooms” and
later even hovering over landscapes with their very own wings — “pear
people began asking “What’s with the pears?” For
years I had no enlightened response. My answers consisted of... “I
know, I just like painting them, I can’t stop, it gives me energy and
peace to paint them, they have such personality — each one a little different —
they’re amusing, entertaining, cute, sexy.”
Then, finally a few events fell into place and the “pear truth” was
discovered. One inquiring friend had made the observation that a pear actually
resembles the human heart much more than the traditional Valentine version,
which would be significant to me, since I had grown up with heart problems.
brushed this explanation off to sentimentality, until later, when met face
to face with a similar connection, I realized its significance.
Several years later I met a woman who had endured severe heart complications
and was out living her doctor’s prognosis. We had a conversation that
convinced me of the heart/pear connection. She asked me what I do. My usual
this question is that I am an artist, a painter, I paint landscapes, still
lifes, etc... But to this woman, for some reason I just blurted out — “I
She looked at me rather astonished and puzzled and said, “That’s
so strange, because yesterday my best friend was coming to visit me and something
overcame her and told her to stop at the store and bring me three pears.” They
both thought it was so “out of the blue” and made no sense to
either one of them. As she told me this, it struck me even harder because
pear painting I did was of three pears, and in talking with her about her
heart condition, it made me think about my heart condition. I have endured
open heart surgeries, starting at the age of six. The pears were my hearts — my
hearts, my three chances at life. It made sense that I repeated this image,
it was my symbol for life.
If I didn’t paint pears for a couple of weeks I would get tired, irritated,
off balance. It enlivens me to paint pears, to put them out there, to share
them, each pear reaffirming my life and the thanks I give for each chance