Story & Photos – Joseph BoyleEdra Zook – Artist
It is interesting to me that every human being making foot prints on our planet has a life story. The story is not always heard or told or written, but everyone has a story.
In fact, having said that, if you have a story you might like to share about yourself or someone you know, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can meet at Starbucks to explore the possibilities of your story. Together, it is likely we can write your story. It can be more fun than you can imagine.
The source of my stories is closely tied to the people I spend time with and my observations from daily life. I observe, listen and then come up with ideas to write about I hope will be of interest you.
I would like to share a story concerning my friend, Edra Zook, a delightful Starbucks barista, who also manages the Starbucks Community Art Wall.
Tragedy struck Edra a few weeks back. Edra was completely stopped at the end of a freeway off ramp when she was struck from behind by another vehicle.
Edra was left with two seriously injured wrists and lost the use of both hands. For an artist, losing your hands stops you dead in your artist tracks. She could not work at Starbucks and more importantly, she could no longer do any art work of any kind, or so she thought.
Edra, being the strong woman that she is, started to fight her way back. She gained the use of her index pointer finger on right hand. Check out my photo of her pointer finder. It is bent from a childhood kickball accident.Edra’s bent index pointer finger becomes a new tool for high tech finger painting.
Edra fired up her Kendal Fire e-book reader. She loaded it with a drawing program application called Drawing Pad. The program allows her to draw and create art work with high tech pencils, crayons or markers.
She had no idea what kind of artwork she wanted to produce. In fact after a having been knocked off the tightrope of life by a heavy load of problems including the car crash, she suffered from a condition we call Artist Block. Her ideas and art visions stopped flowing. It might be likened to having your well run dry on farm.
Edra’s solution was to close her eyes and from memory draw human profiles on the screen of her Kendal Fire. Edra created her art with her bent index pointer finger, giving new meaning to the old term finger pointing.
She then opened her eyes and let the product of her “eyes-closed-work” serve as her art foundation for the art she was about to produce. This is a case where turning a blind eye produces something positive and beautiful.
Art has the power to transport Edra to a different place. She can move from stress, pain and depression to happiness and contentment. She told me she can get lost in art for hours and sometimes for days. Her art is an expression of her thinking, feeling and emotions.
I was excited when I saw what she was able to do. Below are three of her works that represent her early kindergarden-like beginning crash-art finger painting efforts.
Part of viewing art involves thinking and asking questions. I would like to share the following interpretations of Edra’s art.
Art work 1 Mercy Me – Depression sets in after having lost the use of both hands and adding insult to the injury, the loss of her ability to produce art. Look how her head hangs down. You can almost hear her sigh as she utters, “Mercy me.”
Art work 2 Facing Up To The Problem – Positive upbeat Edra, on the left, looks negative depressed Edra, on the right, in the face and challenges the real Edra to rise above her stress and problems by accepting a life-line thrown to her; called art.
Art work 3 – Edra breaks free of sadness, pain and depression to step into the sunshine of life, aided by the ladder of art which helps her climb out of the darkness.
Edra has a drive and passion to share her art in several forms. She loves to create art, teach art, display art, assist others in displaying their art and she loves it when people wish to buy and own her art.
In September, 2013, Edra will display her art on the Starbucks Community Art Wall for the entire month. Visit Starbucks at 6040 Main St SW, Lakewood, Washington 98499 to see what Edra has produced with just one bent finger.
If you would enjoy a special opportunity to meet the artist in person, Edra will be hosting this months Starbucks Art Night. She will share information about her art. She may do an art demonstration for you. You can ask her questions. She may even be able to let you try some high tech finger painting. You do not have to have a broken finger to do this either. Samples of her Crash-Art Finger Painting will be displayed on the Community Art Wall
One last observation. Check out Edra’s name. For a woman who’s very core of existence is tied so strongly to the world of art, her name, Edra is pronounced, E DRAW. Though the name, Edra, has been with her since 1949, she never ever made that connection. Well that is part of my job; helping people have fun and enjoy life by looking at life with fresh perspective.
Thanks E Draw for everything you do.