The under painting. Decisions are made as I go along; I work in a concept and process mode. I have a general idea of where I want to end up, but much is decided upon as I go along.
Starting to put down the content of this piece. One of the skills Damien acquired as a young lad was carpentry. You know, no TV, no video games, no phones...a kid with a lot of energy. It all got channeled by learning all the tricks of the trade in carpentry. I doubt that he thought he would use it as much as he did later on in life. But, he did. And then some.
The bottom image in this painting is a photo taken about 3 years after he got there. The three buildings above it was the church (St. Philomena). It was built the year before he got there and after Father Damien arrived in 1973, he added on and then added on again.
Those that suffer from leprosy often do not have full use of their hands or legs- because leprosy is much like a rotting disease (an oversimplification). Death came almost daily. Those that died were buried in shallow graves because if you are sick, how can you bury a fellow human being if you physically can't? Father Damien was horrified to witness the wild pigs coming along and uprooting these shallow graves and...well you can guess without my saying.
In the first six years that Damien was at Kalaupapa (Kalawao), he dug most of the graves and built most of the coffins for 1,600 people.
And, he built over 300 homes and structures in the 16 years that he was there.
A bit staggering, in my opinion!