On his blog last month Paul Goode showed a series of 40 drawings, one done and posted every day. I followed along, seeing the series come to life and really enjoyed it.
Yesterday he posted some context for the series, including how during it there was a horrible car crash and his niece was badly injured. He tells the story alongside the drawings in the post and he talks honestly about how the drawings got all mixed up in what he and his family were going through:
Sometimes, the drawings would be about building up health and protection.
Other times, maybe I was scrambling around to operate, fix and arrange things, to correct synapses, to mend nerves, and drain fluid.
It's a harrowing and great tale, especially if one followed the series and it's seeming lightheartedness when originally posted.
What I find really fascinating is how he used drawing as some kind of talisman or magic and got it all mixed up with his life. I've done this too at problem times. Last year when our cat was slowly dying I started drawing her over and over and over, putting her in a fort or behind a fence with me outside, sword drawn, ready to defend her – but I was covered in a sheet so I couldn't see and was useless.
I don't know why I did all those drawings - I knew they weren't doing anything to help her, but I guess they were helping me. I had read some commentary about Shakespeare and the writer posited that a certain character was inspired by Shakespeare's son, and that by saving the character, Shakespeare was somehow saving his son. Faulkner did something similar with Caddy in "The Sound and The Fury", and Guston's life is all over his late paintings.
Art as a way of finding some control over things. When Cassie finally did die I drew this and this.