The past couple of months have been tumultuous, to say the least. I had started to despair last year about how my vision, particularly in my left eye, had been deteriorating steadily. I had to reduce the time I spent painting because the eye strain was exhausting. After visits to my optometrist, who had reached the limits of available lenses (eyeglass or contact) strong enough to correct my near-sightedness, and a couple of visits to a retinal specialist it seemed there wasn't much to be done. Finally, I decided to be much more specific about what I was and wasn't seeing at my last visit to my optometrist. It wasn't just that my vision was blurry, but I was seeing in triplicate (it became apparent when sitting on the subway staring at the lit-up strip indicating all the stops coming up, and each stop had a triad of red points!) and I was frustrated about how my paintings looked dull as much as I tried to add highlights. Suddenly, the doctor lit up, did a couple more tests and said that I might have cataracts, a diagnosis that hadn't occurred to him because I am relatively young for this.
A referral to an opthamologist confirmed this diagnoses, and before I knew it I was getting special eye measurements, a pre-op health assessment and was scheduled for surgery, one eye first and the other two weeks later. I just had the second eye done a few days ago.
The results are astonishing, to say the least. I can get up in the morning and not grope for my Coke bottle-bottom eyeglasses, which I always kept nearby on my nightstand. Without them, I could barely see 8" in front of my face. The new lenses, now IN my eyeballs, have corrected my vision to around 20/25 or 20/30 (so far... they are still "setting in", whatever that means!). Equally incredible is how bright and more blue-tinted the world looks to me now. Not only had the cataracts clouded my vision, but they had created a yellow-ochre haze.
Needless to say, the first time I was able to get back to my studio after the first eye was done I literally could not believe my eyes. The blues and sunlit areas of my paintings were brighter than I had thought they were. All the colors seemed more vibrant. I kept closing one eye and then the other to compare. I had heard this may happen, but actually experiencing it was incredible. I have been overjoyed. And recently, a new studiomate I was excited about ended up having to move out after a month. So, when I got back to my studio, I hauled out these three enormous canvases I had bought almost a year ago on a whim from a friend who was clearing out her studio.
During the 3 or 4 days between the two operations, I was so inspired, excited, and energized that I started TWO (!) 4 FEET by 6 FEET paintings, the largest I have ever attempted. I had already completed two smaller ones of the Lily Pools at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It looks like I may be starting a series!
These are still in progress, but I thought I'd share them here: