Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vision-The Good Eye

The Good Eye
Image size 8" x 11"
Paper size 9" x 12"
One July morning, I was going about my usual routine, and had sat down to work at my computer. Macular Degeneration didn't seem to interfere with working up close to my computer. No wavey lines or distortion, unless I leaned back in my chair.
I had put away the Amsler grid, which was supposed to be checked daily, to see if there were changes. If so, the doctor was to be contacted immediately. That's all well and good, but the doctor wouldn't see me anymore, so what was I to do if there were changes. There wasn't anything to be done, so the only reason to use the chart, or take notice of changes was for my own curiousity. Occasionally, I would cover my good eye and see if there were differences in color or distortion. Just because I wondered what was happening to me, and what was coming next.
I tried to busy myself with things that I worried that I might not be able to do anymore. I'd better read all those books I've been saving to read, write all those stories I've been wanting to write, draw and paint all the pictures I've been wanting to do, identify all the old pictures and write the family story. Also on the to do list was to absorb all the images I can store, while I can still see them. Scenes, movies on tv, faces, poses, light and shadow, colors, etc. I thought that I should try to organize and memorize where the colors are on my paint palettes. While that is a good thing to do, I don't consciously think of picking up a warm color or a cool color. I know that, theoretically, that is an important way to work. Thinking of color harmonies and color theory can be important. But, working in a more expressionistic way, I usually just paint with what I feel like using. I look at the paint and think, "This one will work here", or "That one feels right to pick up and I'll put a little of that there", and just do it. Theory is in the background and is a foundation for me, but I go more by what I feel like using or what looks like it will work in a certain spot. Then, I let things flow and see what happens. Touch ups and finishing are then added.
On this particular day, as I looked at the computer, a crescent shape that overlapped another, appeared to my right, over the side of the computer. The shape was broken up into tiny shapes, like a colorful crystal. It sparkled and flashed as I tried to look at it. I closed the good eye and the shape disappeared. I closed the eye with the AMD and the shape appeared, still flashing and on the side. I looked around the room and even walked into other rooms to try to determine if light or the computer might be causing this new shape to form.
Several years before, I had a migrane in my eye. (That's another story, with a picture!) At that time, my opthamologist told me that the thing to look for was flashing lights, which would indicate a detached retina. He advised that the migrane was temporary and didn' affect anything. Probably caused by stress. The more recent opthamologist and retina specialist confirmed this information.
Now, I wondered if this sparkling crescent shape meant that the retina in my good eye was detaching. More concern followed. I was relying on my good eye to stay that way.
I looked for symptoms on the internet. I didn't find that shape, but again found the bit about flashing lights being a symptom of a detached retina. And information saying to go to the doctor immediately. Time was very important.
Maybe if I rested and put cold packs on my eye, it would get better. I could hope. I could pray. And hold my breath that it wouldn't get worse or that it would go away.
After several days, the crescent shape faded. I guess it wasn't a detached retina, after all.
Meanwhile, this would be another abstract painting for me to create and share. I first made a sketch in order to remember the shape and the date it occured. Later, I transferred the drawing to 140 pound Arches watercolor paper. I used Winsor Newton watercolors to complete this painting. Sparkles were added with silver acrylic paint. The sparkles do not show up very well in the scan of the painting. They appear more like gray dots on the monitor.
I do welcome your comments and inquiries. And I appreciate your interest and support. Thank you for reading, and for passing my work on to others who might be interested. Take a look at my group, Art By Cecelia, too. I have a few more watercolors on a page there.
Be sure to check out the links I have provided on the sidebar on the right of my page. You will find some interesting things to browse through there.
I'm glad that you are sharing in my journey, and I hope that my art work and blog will help someone else as they encounter AMD or similar problems. At least, someone may relate to my work, or become more aware.

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