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Recovery Paintings; Digital

I’ve spent the last 5 months recovering from open heart surgery. My art and design work have played a critical role in my recovery. When faced with life or death situations, there are a wide range of visual imagery that come to mind. Everything from empowering, light filled environments to dark, mysterious and menacing motifs. I made a conscious decision to follow the path that was most comforting and healing to me.

The first drawings and designs that I did during my recovery at home, were geometric and colorful. A neutral balance of shape and tone; not overly excited or rich in movement. A few of these designs are complete and are linked and embedded here. There are a roughly 6 of these designs that I feel confident in publishing here and should eventually add to the storefront.

The first piece completed on returning home from the hospital. Click to see full size.
Another early recovering piece with a vibrant and light tone. Tap to see full size.
The most in depth recovery painting took longer to finish.Tap for full size.

The geometric “drawings” were a little more than digital coloring books that I made myself. In this case, they are based on tesselations that I found online. I added the tesselation pattern as a layer in my drawing and applied color one small shape at a time. This worked well as I was just a few weeks out of the surgery and my mobility was extremely limited. As I said, I did not finish them all right away as they are time consuming and very demanding in terms of focus and patience.

Eventually, I wanted to add some more emotion and colorful movement to my digital paintings. I started by painting behind the pattern layers, which was in essence, painting “blind”. I discovered that removing the pattern layers (which blocked my final painting) was a moment of sheer luck. A few of the paintings completed this way are examples of what I would strive for in abstract colorfield painting. Very satisfied with the results.

This work-in-progress shows the geometric layer, and some painted objects that were hidden
A finished piece with a few geometric elements showing through in the background.
Another completed work with some strong geometric elements peeking through the background.
This final piece was the first one I finished using this technique. None of the geometric layer was left.

I was at this point, 4 weeks out from my surgery, that I dove into actual acrylic and watercolor work on paper.

Read about it in the next post.

Read about my physical recovery.

-Andy Holck