There is actually a book titled Art and Fear. I am nervous about the upcoming show, so I turn to love and beauty to calm me. When I saw the face of Fighter A235 I loved his serene expression and knew I would have to paint his portrait. I feel calmer just looking at him.
The free dictionary by Farlex says that head trauma can cause strabismus in adults. Perhaps this explains the crossed eyes of this fighter.
Yesterday, I found magic in the material form of a scrapbook containing photographs of pugilists. Their faces contain much of life: fear, sorrow, loneliness, humor, despair, and, though beaten, maintaining dignity, and persevering. I can’t wait to put this treasure to use. The photos will allow me to fuse my older, sports-themed work with my newer paintings. To only display one page from the scrapbook is a tease, at best, but I will. More can be discovered about this stunning group of photographs on Julie Mellby’s Graphic Arts Blog.
I was looking for circus performers on the LOC site, and found Irene Montgomery “the most perfect formed, circus performer in the business”. I found her intriguing, as I have recently completed two novels about circus life. One by Melanie Benjamin, entitled The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb; the other by Stacy Carlson, entitled Among the Wonderful. I have depicted Ms. Montgomery with an imagined fellow performer: a friend, I hope, as the books pointed out how lonely circus life can be.