Using Oil Painting to Cope With Violence

by JoAnne McFarland in Choosing Subject Matter
Much of my work centers around staying creative in the face of destructive cultural forces. Being positive and living with vigor (rather than with urgency which often passes for vigor) is a challenge.


Recently I created two panels Peanuts and Walnuts that speak to events of horrific violence. The process of creating the panels, using stencils, was meditative and healing in the sense that it provided a channel for the effluvia these events tend to generate. 


An extension of my Use in a Sentence series, Peanuts and Walnuts are juxtaposed here, in a studio installation, with stenciled fragments of an obituary for Stephanie L. Kwolek, inventor of the miraculous bulletproof fiber KEVLAR.
The celebratory nature of the obituary, and the fact that Kwolek lived to be 90, signals for me that what is best in our natures can still triumph.