Monday, September 4, 2017

A Houston Artist during Hurricane Harvey

Searching for the beauty in the midst of chaos…

 For any of you that don’t know, quick update, I live in Houston, TX and have been in the middle of Hurricane Harvey. I can’t describe it in any better detail than what you may have already read about or seen on TV.

 I am dry. I can’t say I am “fine” but I am on my knees grateful to have my family safe and to have my studio and home functioning.

 I wish I was the kind of artist that can create under stress. I had thought during the days approaching landfall that I would be able to curl up with my sketch book at least and document the storm. After all, it was heading to a place other than Houston and I knew we would get rain but …I had hoped it would be controllable.

 It didn’t take long to realize that this was not an average storm with the officials using the word “CATASTROPHIC”.

 As a Houstonian I have lived through tropical storms and hurricanes so I knew about the low areas and felt that I knew what to expect. There is always a chance that if it rains too long in one area the water could rise and flood the house but our drainage system has been improved and besides…we live next to Barker Reservoir, the dam is there to protect us! (Check the news for how all that is going, homes are still flooded near the dam)

 I can’t remember the details or the dates when things happened, I just remember images of the water rising, falling, rising and falling. The 24/7 info on the TV (I know it might not have been the best to be glued to TV and social media but it helped me feel connected to not only Houston but friends and family outside Houston) updated us and I clung to every radar screen and every update about the reservoir…there was a fear it was going to overflow and I imagine that would have wiped out more homes than I can count.

 Like I wrote above, I wish I could paint during stress, to let out all I was feeling. I wish I could have documented it. Even if I was inclined to function well enough to create during this storm my supplies were packed up the best I could in hopes flood waters would not rise above the tables.

 I will be finding ways to help my neighbors as I try to start back to work. I need to unpack and find things…(I know that I put the dog food in a safe place, it’s probably in the attic!)

 Soon I will be introducing you to my community through sketches, photos and paintings as everyone around me continues to dig out, dry out and find a new normal.

 I plan to be creating new paintings that come from a place of hope, gratefulness and appreciation for what really matters. My family, friends and all those that showed how to work from a place of love for others are my treasures and I am grateful.

 I want to go forward and show the heart of the people as we all come together to rebuild.

 Thank you so very much to all of you that have sent prayers and assisted in any way with the relief effort. I am also speaking for the rest of Houston, Texas and all the areas hit by Hurricane Harvey as I know we are just one part of this.