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And I’m Back

August 8, 2017


wagon1.3 detail

Detail from a work in progress. 11×14, acrylics

First, let me apologize for staying away so long. This surgery seemed to take more out of me than I expected.  However…. the surgery went exactly as it was supposed to. As my personal physician says, with three bypasses, a repaired mitral valve and a maze procedure to eliminate atrial fibrillation, I now have basically a new heart. Recovery is going well and I am making excellent progress in my physical rehabilitation. Aside from my efforts at the rehab center, I am walking daily at home. This morning, I walked 3/4 of a mile.

Interestingly, for several weeks after the surgery, I wasn’t interest in doing much. Aside from physical therapy, which started the day after I was moved out of ICU, I read,  watched a little TV and napped. I had sketching materials, but only got them out once. I found that my energy level was so low that my sketch was pitiful.

A few days ago, I finally got out the acrylics and started a new painting. It’s still in progress, and what you see above is a detail from that painting.

Since I prepared materials beforehand, I’m ready to work. There is still pain from the surgery, which calls for frequent breaks, but it feels good to have a brush in my hand again.

It’s good to be back.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2017 5:27 pm

    So good to know that your surgery and procedure went well. You were missed, but it is great to have your name pop up again in my inbox. Best wishes!

  2. Bridget Williams permalink
    August 8, 2017 8:21 pm

    Well done Ralph! You have just had the operation my husband had for his heart – three bypasses and a valve replacement. Take it easy now! I know it took my hubby some time to fully recover, and even then he had to retire from his work …… he was a Fitter and Turner. But he also suffered with Asthma which did not help any! I have just had a month of Chest Infection and Influenza which has messed around with my energy levels. I am amazed to see you are back painting so soon as I am still trying to stir up my normal level of enthusiasm. I have managed a couple of paintings, but they leave a lot to be desired! I think your weather is more encouraging where you are though. More sunshine and warmer. Here in Australia it is much colder and wetter than normal for winter this year ….. the nemo effect. Here’s to you! Great to hear from you again!
    Bridget Williams
    P.S. My Email Address has changed –
    Old address:
    New address:

    • August 9, 2017 11:16 am

      And here I thought Australia would be pretty inspiring. Nice to hear from you, Bridget! Some days are better than others, but at 8 weeks, I seem to be doing pretty well.

  3. August 9, 2017 2:52 am

    Good to see you back at work again and that recovery is going well. Best wishes from the Netherlands.

  4. Michelle permalink
    August 9, 2017 3:17 pm

    Wonderful to see you back, and it looks like you are making a great recovery. You have a very positive attitude and that helps! I am also a heart patient and took an early retirement because of it. As a retired health care professional, and heart patient, I have observed that it usually takes about a year to fully recover. So, Ralph, expect some good days and some days that are not so good, follow your health care professional’s advice and keep that positive attitude. Wishing you a full recovery and that you soon will be feeling better than ever.


    • August 9, 2017 8:13 pm

      Thanks, Michelle. I’ve heard that one year timeframe. It’s nice to get this kind of encouragement from someone who knows what it’s like. All the best to you.

  5. Kathryn permalink
    August 9, 2017 3:22 pm

    Wishing you great health going forward. Your work belongs in museums. Why acrylics instead of gouache? Which do you like best? Just curious…
    Best regards,

    • August 9, 2017 8:16 pm

      What a nice compliment. Kathryn, the jury is still out as to a preference between the two. I just thought I’d try something different for a little while. I’ve still got a lot of gouache, so I’ll get back to it at some point. Thanks!

  6. Antje permalink
    August 9, 2017 3:46 pm

    And it’s good to have you back! I had been wondering how you’re doing and it’s a relief to hear that everything went well. The painting looks interesting! I look forward to seeing more of it when the time comes. Wishing you an enjoyable recovery process!

    • August 9, 2017 8:16 pm

      Hi Antje! Thanks so much for the good words and the encouragement. Good to hear from you again.

  7. Jane permalink
    August 9, 2017 4:50 pm

    Don’t know if I’ve ever commented before, but have enjoyed your blog and your work, and I’m also glad that you are back and recovering so nicely. God bless!

  8. Melissa Goodwin - Dick Secor permalink
    August 10, 2017 9:48 pm

    So glad to hear you are on the mend and on the road to a great recovery!!!! The detail of the wagon looks great – awaiting the finished piece.

  9. August 12, 2017 3:20 pm

    I am so thankful Ralph! I have thought about you a lot and, I am looking forward to you gaining your health back! I read your book and enjoyed it very much.

    All my best…Jim

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