Somehow between the chemotherapy that nearly killed me and the radiation that made me wish it had, I plopped myself on the couch every afternoon, and watched The Real Housewives of NYC and Beverly Hills from the start. I have an issue with feeling like I’m being too lazy, so I decided to try little drawings with my new Tombow markers while I watched women cry through Botox. Since painting wasn’t much of an option this helped me along, and I abandoned all hope of trying to perfect my linework to just have fun.
I’m happy to tell you the fruits of this effort has resulted in a solo show called “Drawing Through Reality” with over 50 drawings that will be exhibited at Revolution Gallery opening on Friday, September 17th! This is nothing short of a miracle as I couldn’t even move a month before starting these TV marathons. I was sure I’d never make art again, I was sure I would die sooner rather than later.
Here is some more information about the exhibition…
After being diagnosed with terminal cancer during a pandemic, Arabella found herself unable to paint anymore. This was physical but mental as well. To cope with it all, she did what anyone would do: watched marathons of “Real Housewives”
What began as little pencil sketches of faces — a distraction from a distraction, something to do with her hands that were slowly losing dexterity, became a habit.
Little portraits, faces of women in outrageous prints and clothes, emerged while Arabella was re-learning to use a pen.
Drawn in loose colorful lines, these 4×6″ jewel-like drawings are reminiscent of fashion illustrations whose occasional gaze at the viewer share a likeness with classical portraits. These fashionable women can be found dressed in punk, goth, glam, and loud patterned clothing with candy colored hair to match.
The Housewives may have played as unconscious inspiration, but these are not portraits of thee Housewives. These are made-up characters; women whose composition came naturally without reference. This was a distraction from a distraction, after all.