COLORS, Connection and Gratitude

Join Dwana’s Team supporting life-saving surgery, organized by Sue Stine  ‘Quiet Revolution (Connie)’ by Dwana Jean

“…women are the authors of reality…”

Dwana Jean

Online exhibit that showcases extraordinary work created by Artists during Covid19

“…it’s an honor to have my words connected with your beautiful images. Thank you for thinking of me. Thank you for validating my writing. Thank you for being a true friend.”

Dwana Jean

Thank you Dwana (for so much more than I can ever say here and trust me I tried and the pages and pages of words I will save for another day) such beautiful words looking back to a time when I believed as an Artist I was invisible on campus.  COLORS makes me hopeful, joyful and optimistic for us all…connection.  Lasting, meaningful connections.  Our friendship and all that I learned from you made it possible to leave my family to come to classes and bust my ass to finish!  

Reconnecting with Dwana through the words of such beautiful writings at such uncertain times is something I will always treasure.

Connection in unprecedented times.

‘COLORS’ by Dwana Jean

She could see what no one else could see.
“What color is that shadow?” she asked.
“Gray,” He replied.
“I see gray,” she said, “but I also see purple and green, but not just any purple or green. I see aubergine and hunter.”
She smiled as he shook his head in disbelief.

The first time she visited a classmate’s house and saw a box of 64 crayons she felt faint. “That’s nothing,” said the girl. “My cousin has the 72-pack.”
“How can this be?” Her mind screamed. “They’re wasting all these colors while I have to suffer with a measly box of eight?” The injustice brought tears to her eyes.

Colors made her philosophical. What is the difference between fuchsia and magenta? Why did she find puce to be so problematic? (To be blunt, puce made her want to puke.) Yet, she found mauve soft and gentle to the eyes. Taupe was another color that made her want to run screaming. How could this abomination be allowed? Who decided that brown and gray belong together? They should be shot!

People are incredibly imprecise when describing hues. Once she asked her father what his favorite color was. He said “Blue.” She found that to be ridiculous. “Which shade of blue?” she demanded. “Royal? Powder? Navy? Baby? Sky? Turquoise? Lapis Lazuli? Aqua? Teal? Azure? Cerulean? Indigo? Cornflower? Robin’s egg? You can’t claim an entire category as your own!”

She didn’t have one favorite color. She had favorite versions of each color:
Candy apple red
Goldenrod yellow
Coral orange
Sage green
Royal blue
Deep Lavender

She loved combinations of colors — mixtures of tones such as red-orange, yellow-green, and blue-gray. These were visual harmonies to her mind.

Her own beauty evoked a melody of colors. Her complexion was toasted pecan shell tan. Her eyes, the deep amber of sunlight shining through cola. Her hair was dark chocolate when seen from afar, but closer scrutiny revealed subtle streaks of apple-butter brown. She wore her colors like a queen wears her coronet and gowns: she was regal, yet joyful; somber, yet proud.

She was a born chromatic evangelist. “You can wear any color,” She’d tell anyone who would listen. “You just have to find the right shade. When you find your true colors, they will dazzle your eyes and make your heart sing.”

I was so moved by these words at a time of such global uncertainty may we all have the kind of connection that this brought me.  I had the blessings of quite a few commissions met with such positive reactions that touched me on a deep and personal level but having such a dear friend and brilliant writer send me such a gift I’m awestruck. 

Finding out that Dwana is not well, I am heartbroken.  Please see the above link to read her story.  She took the time during the fight of her life to send me beautiful words.  Feeling devastated and reminding me in this life that, while we don’t always nurture connections just because we truly love someone, it doesn’t guarantee that things will always be as we left them, or that as we move through life our loved ones will always be there because we want them to be.  I cannot put it into words, so I set about to paint it.

Marina!  I won’t go into too much detail, but we almost lost her and the Drs didn’t have much hope but could not tell me anything definitive as to what was going to happen.  I was on bedrest and Dwana would come over on days she was on campus and cook, sit with me, read, chat and pray.  Someone had said something so negative to me and I remember her sitting with me and letting me know that it was their problem.  This woman was there for me.  More than she probably knows.

I could go on and on about so many memories I have.  I used to ask her to describe artwork for me on our walks downtown and one pastel drawing in a gallery window, she described the sun’s rays coming through a window as “slices of sunlight”!   A blog post for another day is my love for a “skilled user of words” … the definition of wordsmith.  Another post to talk about her gifts.

I am not a good friend and my dearest friends know this.  I will drop anything for you if you need me, but it can take me a year maybe more to commit to a lunch date.   Back in those days I was so busy with family, art and making sure my kids knew I was there for them and in a way discovering who I was, while my husband worked tirelessly.  There was a time when drs weren’t sure if I could carry a child from a life-threatening accident with too many injuries to mention (another blog post for another time) and I was very guarded with my energy as we raised our family.  

Marina came into this world reminding us to be grateful with her wonderful spirit that she still has, and I always let her know, all that yummy healthy food Dwana made us all those prayers, good vibes and beautiful words are the stuff that miracles come from.  

Everything this badass woman had been through in her own life, was letting me know everything was going to be okay and I believed her… and it was…

“Art is sacred. Prayerful. While writers are like prophets, artists are like priests. We are the world’s sacred connection to the Divine. Amen.

Dwana Jean

Connections… COLORS … true friend indeed…

Thank you for helping put all this together.  To all of our children watching them navigate this world and sharing their true gifts of friendship with all those they love.

Pixel 2 Editions you all are incredible thanks for making the work look so beautiful!