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Mother Portrait Painting Seamus Berkeley
Mother, Portrait Painting Seamus Berkeley

It has been some time since publishing my last blog post. Many significant events have transpired in my life over the past few years, which have impacted the frequency of these posts and my artwork.

As you may know, for the past several years, I’ve been very involved with the care of my aging mother who had returned from Ireland in early 2010 to live close to me in the Bay Area of California. In late 2015, my mom and I moved back to Taos to live in my house there. While we expected that she would live for several more years, after a short period of illness, she died peacefully at home in January 2016. This time of being with my mom in the last stages of her life, has had a significant impact on how I perceive life and what is important. During this several year process of caring for my mom, I was exposed to things that I had never witnessed before, most significantly: witnessing how people in her life cared so much for her, especially healthcare workers. I was amazed to see how people who knew very little about my mom could care for her so kindly. The concept of a person dedicating their life to caring for other people was remarkable.

Seeing this, along with watching my mother grow older and less capable and then leaving our world, affected how I saw the importance of actions I am taking. I even began to reevaluate the importance of creating paintings. At times, the idea of even painting at all was questionable. Why would I bother making new artwork when my mom was in the hospital or simply needing help in her daily activities? It began to enter my mind that really, caring for one another takes precedence over any other activities in which we can engage in this life.

Over the past fifteen months since my mom has passed, I’ve reflected further on creating artwork and pondered how to connect it with the notion of serving people, rather than just making another painting to express beauty. I’ll be commenting on those events and how they have affected my artwork in future posts. Stay tuned!

Reflections on the Recent Past