Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Leap of Faith

There are several ideas spinning around in the area of my head I'd like to think a brain is located. Okay, strike that. There are about a bazillion things floating around in there like distant galaxies rotating about the Milky Way. Three of them have somehow made their way to the front burner.

Two of them I'm not quite ready to share with the Blogosphere just yet. Perhaps in a few more days but I'm still seeking out the advice from close friends. Interestingly both of these "ideas" were each suggested by two of my peers this past weekend. The other actually came about via my wonderful meeting with Christine Farnsworth and Karen Miller which I blogged about yesterday.

As I previously mentioned for some reason I took about a dozen unfinished canvases intended for me and Ben to complete together along for the weekend. Just guessing here but I think about half of them I had already started on my part of the process. The others have been sitting in my studio since...like...March?

Now for those of you chomping at the bit for one of these "Ben & Bennie paintings" I have a good excuse. The show season began and unfortunately more buyers are interested in my personal work than our collaborations. I wish that were different but this is my job. Yet it hurts because honestly. the things Ben and I do together really does inspire me. Since Ben is not about to give up his most interesting therapy we now have about two dozen canvases waiting for me to do my thing (a huge thanks to nurses Lisa Stamey & Vicki Robertson for keeping my son working).

So here I am in western North Carolina over the weekend. My original idea was to distribute some of these canvases to my painter friends, let them seek out images Ben might allude to, and then sell them with all the proceeds going to the PKS Kids non-profit organization. The upside (with really no downside) for me would be that I'd just have to work on a half-dozen pieces to catch up. Even though my painter friends who were there were real supportive, nothing really came to fruition.

(If you haven't already this would now be a good time to read yesterday's post.)

After Christine and Karen left I began to look at the canvases differently. I ran my hands over them and the comfort of Ben's own little hands began to reach out to me! I looked at the colors. His colors remained pure and strong because he works so slow. Another artistic conundrum if you ask me.

These little paintings are his art. They are what Ben truly wants to express. My precious son is trying to define his world and it is even more of a happy place than his father's. They are thick with finger prints and ridges of paint. Their texture invites you to touch them exactly like he touched them.

So here's the idea: I want to share Ben's paintings with the world as pure as possible. I won't add my part to some of them at all. All the proceeds will go to PKS Kids. There are still some cool images we can work on together that I'm finding and those will be available as usual (when they are complete).

If the response is positive then I will post an image of Ben's painting here. There will be a link to PKSKids.net for a donation and the painting is yours. If you would like you can give our family some proceeds via PayPal over on the sidebar or e-mail us. I promise it will be most appreciated. If you cannot afford the painting at all, it will still be yours. E-mail me to let me know you situation.

This is going to take some time to make things work right. I haven't even contacted my friends at PKS Kids to let 'em know what is happening. Ben has art to give and it is quite amazing to be honest. Real art should and will make people think a little bit deeper about their experience in this life. It is generally something to be sold but our situation is completely different. My son's art has affected me both deeply and emotionally. Honestly I'd would rather share his work than mine.

3 comments:

Gretchen said...

How generous! I truly love your collaborations but understand the time constraints with enhancing Ben's work. (I see a teddy bear in the canvas on the left--top photo--it keeps looking at me)

You do what feels right to you and for you. PKS Kids graciously accepts any donations or proceeds, of course. :)

I love how you honor Ben this way and in all you do.

xo

Ben & Bennie said...

Gert, we need to set up some stuff to do this but we are excited about it. We'll call you this weekend. Dang, we have vacation stuff and PKS stuff to discuss!

we_be_toys said...

I think this is a GREAT idea! I wonder how hard it would be to do it as an auction (probably pretty complicated, huh?), so it would raise more money and generate more excitement. Maybe showcase one of his paintings each week and have folks make bids on it. At the end of the week you can announce the winner. I don't know - I just know you guys work so hard - both you and Joan, as well as Ben - it seems like you deserve to reap your true worth.
Can't wait to see how you set this up!