Today I have an interview guest post with John Toomey, an awesome artist that has so willingly shared his story of how he got his start, stories of his mother with Alzheimers.
In this interview you’ll hear his passion throughout his journey and creating “Working Memory” – his expression of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver for his mom and how he turned those feelings into beautiful works of art.
“I didn’t begin this body of work with aspirations of furthering the art career, but rather from the more personal need to mourn, to heal, to celebrate and pay homage…and yes, to remember.
I should add that these paintings of The Working Memory series are mixed media paintings on paper – acrylic, pastel, watercolor – but I also collage organic material into the paintings, bits of pressed flowers and leaves and soil, some of which from my childhood home and some of which from my current home here in NM.
Like all of my work these are also landscape based abstractions… but this body of work is much more site specific…home. I think of each painting as a garden, or even an area of sky, filled with fragments of clouds and flowers and grasses and soil. Forms are in flux, between growth and decay, blooming and fading, remembering and forgetting. Just like any garden, just like any life.
The above painting is called “Working Memory, Sibling Hymn to Her”. There are three small silhouettes of birds within the painting, one for each of the siblings. I especially like it because it involves collaboration with my brother James. He shared a photo that he took one early morning from his kitchen window, just an image of little birds within mostly bare branches. I was looking for the impetus for the next painting and this proved perfect.” – John C. Toomey
The Interview (click below) Trust me, you’ll want to hear this.
You can connect with John on his facebook page and hop on over to his website after it’s construction phase. He is definitely someone you want to connect with and get to know. Here is the picture he mentions in the interview, of he and his brother with the photo of their mom.