October 29, 2003

Sympathetic Magic

The first sympathetic magic painting I made was in 1996 when a friend was about to have an operation. I wanted to be sure it would be successful, and that she would be healthy, so I focused my intentions on those thoughts while doing the painting. Whether or not my act had any power everything did indeed go well.

Other sympathetic magic paintings I did afterward were also for different reasons. One was for a man who has been locked away in prison for years, beyond reason. I have never met him, but he is a dear friend of Judith Tannenbaum’s, a writer I met at an artist residency in 1997, and with whom I have become very close friends. Having taught poetry in the San Quentin prison and through her friendship with this man she has an inside understanding of the prison system and its injustices.

At the residence I had the privilege of reading her manuscript, which came out in print in 2000, entitled Disguised As A Poem, (Northeastern University Press). It is a memoir of her teaching experience at San Quentin. I was very moved by her story and by her, who now, over the years has proved to be a genuine and loyal friend. I also felt the suffering of her friend, and my wish in doing the painting was to bring light into the prison cell, to him. I can’t say that the outcome was successful, but prayers are there like floating stars not always visible to the eye.

I’ll say more about this process another time, but for now basta.

You can see the painting of this on the artworks link. http://www.barbaraschaeferart.com/5.htm
The painting was published in the Hyden's Ferry Review.

Posted by Barbara at October 29, 2003 12:11 PM