The day I arrived in Portland, the day before the start of the Symposium, I got a toothache that kept getting worse and worse. I was determined to not leave early; like us all, I was so, so excited about coming and meeting and drawing alongside of as many as I could in person. So I took the maximum dosage of Ibuprofen, numbed the tooth with dabs of Oil of Clove, given to me by my Portland friend John who had picked it up in Malaysia, and ran back often to my room to apply hot compresses to my jaw. I heard some complain that there wasn't enough time to eat during the day, there was so much happening. This was no problem for me: I could hardly eat because of the pain. If the toothache wasn't enough, I broke out with a mouth-full of ulcers on my lips and gums. I applied Carmex for some relief to my lips. I was determined to stick it out and get back home to my Iowa dentist. I thought a lot of George Washington and how he suffered terrible tooth pain his whole life and still could be President; certainly I could draw with a toothache for a week!
Once home, the toothache ebbed a bit but persisted. And I realized there was collateral damage: from taking too much Ibuprofen, my kidneys had stopped working properly and my feet and legs blew up like water balloons! And the mouth ulcers turned out to be self-inflicted burns from the Oil of Cloves! Yikes!! When I finally made it to the dentist 4 days ago, he reprimanded me for self-medicating. (Yes, Sir! But he just didn't realize how much I wanted to be @ the Symposium.) The upshot: the tooth was cracked front to back all the way through and an abscess had formed around the roots. Now, I'm minus a molar and finally after 3 weeks pain-free.
The first drawing--Toothache & Takeout--I did in Portland. The second--My Tooth Saga--is a still life I set up today on my Cedar Falls kitchen table. I have more drawings to share from the Symposium that are on my Flickr photostream http://www.flickr.com/photos/49028620@N04/ I will post them soon. I also included a picture of a slice of the Pfirsich Torte (peach torte, an Austrian recipe from Burgenland) that my good friend Marie made for me for my 59th birthday this week. It was a minor miracle: I could hardly eat anything these past weeks because of the pain, but I had no problem getting this down.
I'm glad to be back. Marcia