The original pen and ink portraits, a series that began after my diagnosis with cancer in 2016, were composed during the long hours at the treatment clinic and lengthy inpatient stays. The works became vital to understanding my emotional and psychological state, which, even to this day, often eludes words.
During treatment, my body remained strong regardless of whatever brutal circumstances I found myself in. My heart and mind, on the other hand, were constantly reeling. As I have done my entire life, I anchored myself to art, specifically the series of self-portraits. I did so to understand and come to terms with my experiences.
The pen and ink drawings are evolving, growing, and shifting; they parallel my life, mirroring my growth and progress. I am adding new layers, digitally editing and manipulating, and building colorful stories to create different, supplemental layers upon the narrative each one already tells. The story is still evident in each portrait, but now, the bright patterns and vivid textures speak to the Jeremiah of the present day.
The foundational elements of this body of work will forever be present. They hold my history – each line and mark represents a place of struggle and, thus, growth.
As individual pieces of art, they, too, must grow. In moving forward with digital manipulation, layering, collaging, etc. I am giving them a chance to do just this.
They are growing, and so too am I.
Copyright © 2022 Jeremiah Ray | Artist and Writer - All Rights Reserved.