$1,426
pledged of $3,000pledged of $3,000 goal
17
backers
46hours to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, January 24 2019 10:23 PM UTC +00:00.

Luis Rosa-ValentinBy Luis Rosa-Valentin
First created
Luis Rosa-ValentinBy Luis Rosa-Valentin
First created
$1,426
pledged of $3,000pledged of $3,000 goal
17
backers
46hours to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, January 24 2019 10:23 PM UTC +00:00.

About

Ten years ago I found myself in Baghdad staring down Sadr city. With one false step Everything changed. A roadside bomb took both my legs above the knee, my left arm below the elbow, total hearing loss (I now have a cochlear implant) and the sight from my left eye. 

Since then I have struggled to find purpose in my life again. Finally, I found where I belong. I intend to make art which properly tells my story and truly encapsulates my experiences. I was set to begin building a life around what I created and was saving up to start a business sharing my art. Unfortunately I had to use the money I had saved when Carmel suddenly got sick. Carmel, a beagle mix, has been with me since before I was injured. He was the last one who ever went on a run with me. So, when three moths ago he suddenly couldn't walk, I took him to see the vet. After many tests and an MRI we finally have some answers and some hope. With antibiotics, steroids and a monthly chemo treatment he's showing great promise. I know that he's just a dog and I should probably have let him go. But the truth of the matter is that I could not bring myself to euthanize him simply because he couldn't walk. What would that say about me? 

So, while I know my art is not as ready as it could be, I give you what I have in order to bring my goals back on track. 

The pride upon my brow
The pride upon my brow
Dining with the immortal.
Dining with the immortal.

 Along with "These Bones" comes a writing "Art, to me, means purpose" that explains how and why I've gone from grunt to art (included at the end of this). It will be printed up on a single sheet of standard 8.5" x 11" paper. It gives this piece better context.

These bones
These bones
My pound of flesh.
My pound of flesh.
Carmel sketch
Carmel sketch

Art, to me, means purpose. In our life's journey we may sometimes find ourselves in uncomfortable places. Maybe an awkward silence or even on the receiving end of some very bad news. But for me strife came in the form of still, and silent, death. But from the depths I was dragged back. What you may not know, though, is that the stillness soon becomes preferable. That abyss that Nietzsche spoke of not only stares back but infects your very soul. So, after the silence abates you're left with only the screaming deep inside you. 

So where in this is art? Well, I didn't know this outright. I'm from a dark corner in this world that your mother warned you about: The infantry. This is the hand of humanity that tasks itself with holding the shroud that separates the monster under the bed and golden sleep. Occasionally, the beast pierces through that veil and feeds on us, the grunts. What is left of me is the proud bones of a sentinel spat from that maw.

When cast from my duty these bones rolled along searching for a place to be. I tried love, I tried anger, I tried hiding where no one could see me. Three times my bones rolled to the land of smiley face socks. “A defeat” I thought “No, just the journey.” 

Between the grey blur of structured healing; Wake, eat, group, cry, eat, smoke, languish, eat, sleep. There was a crack in the shell. They told me to draw what you feel. With that pencil I scratched at the sliver of dawn that I thought was my twilight. I scratched until I could pick at it. I picked at it until I could pry it. I pried until I could drag myself through that hole and leave behind my uncertainty of where I belong in this world. I want to show the whole world the joy I've found and the terror I left behind. The soul that is part living and part abyss. This is what art has given me. A means to leave my trauma behind by carrying it for others to see. Sitting down to draw or paint is almost like lancing a wound of infection. 

The clarity of expressing my experiences is something I have been blessed to have found. It's not a blessing bestowed on all, sadly. But, I hope to reach people like this. Sometimes they need more than words. So, here I am, learning the craft so that hopefully I can move someone else to leave behind the pain and move forward with living.

Risks and challenges

This is the first I've done this and it'll be me and my wife mailing these out. While I do not foresee any huge obstacles I also know that the learning curve can be a bit steep. I hope to have the prints up and out by mid January, a week after the end of this kickstarter.

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    Carmel, the star of our show.

    This is a sketch of Carmel as he lay while I awaited the news. After three months of not being able to walk and a litany of tests we learned of swelling in the brain stem. The official diagnoses is Meningeoencephalitis of Unknown Etiology (MUE). With steroids and a monthly chemo treatment things are finally looking up. 9x12 print on Moab Entrada rag natural fine art paper.

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    A sketch of a veteran's symbol of pride.

    This is a sketch of a today's symbol of service. A hat I proudly wear adorned by the flag that rode on my shoulder in to battle. 9x12 print on Moab Entrada rag natural fine art paper.

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    Both the Carmel and hat sketch.

    If you wish to have prints of both my muse and my strength. 9x12 prints on Moab Entrada rag natural fine art paper.

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    The cost

    The boots that I will never wear again, the cold and un-feeling hand and the medals that my great grandchildren will one day hold and tell stories of to their friends.

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    A final plea.

    Fund the entire project and I will give you the original art pieces That I have done on my live feeds. That is the Dr. Ford charcoal, the Fire Orangutan Pastel, and the Clementine pastel. Plus, an original piece of your choosing that I will also stream if there is still time left on the clock. I will post their pictures in today's second update.

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    • Original Dr. Ford charcoal drawing.
    • Original Fire Orangutan pastel painting.
    • Original Clementine charcoal drawing.
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