Linda Halcomb's Blog

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February 4, 2012 February 4, 2012

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 3:01 pm
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My good blogging friends, I have been away for awhile. Ken’s Celebration of Life was held last Sunday at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. My family and friends worked very hard to make sure that every element spoke of Ken and it was a success with traditional and non-traditional elements. The day was full of laughter and stories about my remarkable man. And there were a few tears too – but only a few – as we realized how much he will be missed.

The week after Ken passed away I received an offer that seemed so directly tied to our recent experience that I could not refuse. The scientific research journal Cell Stem Cell found my paintings through my blog (wonderful things happen to those who blog!). They asked if I would allow one of my paintings to be used in their journal.  Their February issue was just published with my painting on the front cover. As you may remember Ken had his stem cells harvested last Spring in order to make a vaccine to fight his cancer. Here’s my cover painting and the caption that explains it:

February Cover of Cell Stem Cell

On the cover: This issue features a special review focus on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). The cover image is a watercolor painting by Linda Halcomb, Indianapolis, IN (USA) entitled “Blood Flow 2,” which is designed to depict blood and blood vessels. Linda completed this painting while her husband Ken was having hematopoietic cells harvested as part of his cancer treatment. Ken sadly lost his battle with cancer late last year, and the use of this image for our cover honors his life and his commitment to fighting his disease.


November 12, 2011 November 12, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:01 pm
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This has been a long, hard week. Ken had daily low dose radiation therapy, met with his urologist and started physical therapy. We were down at the Simon Cancer Center everyday and on Wednesday we were also at the Methodist Hospital Medical Building. Next week will be even worse – low dose radiation every day, high dose radiation on his shoulder and chemo plus a full round of baseline testing to determine what the chemo is doing. He does seem to be making progress and the lower dose of chemo last time also seems to have reduced the fatigue a bit. Last Friday, after radiation, we even made it to Five Guys for burgers and went to Trader Joe’s. That’s our idea of entertainment!

Anyway I haven’t done much painting or drawing but I did struggle through one painting this week. It got too dark, too fast and I almost pitched it but I tried some new techniques and I learned about what I can and can’t do with them. Anyway here’s where I gave up. I reached a point where I thought “One more thing and it will push it over the edge”. When I started trying to recover the painting I began thinking about convergence and the way cells change…I was thinking about flashes of mutation…small nuclear explosions.



November 9, 2011 November 9, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:41 am
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We have been going through a rough patch lately but thinks are looking up. Ken started physical therapy on Monday with an absolutely great, astute therapist and radiation yesterday. We are SOOO lucky to have the Simon Cancer at the Indiana University Medical Center so close. This is a remarkable resouce and we trust their care. Ken is actually doing his PT excercises and seems to be making progress. We are blessed and thank all of you for your kindness and positive energy.

BUT it has been tough. My latest painting is inspired by the Dark Place. That place we slide into if we are not careful. That place that fear, frustration, anger, anxiety and depression lead you.  That place where you are suffocated by your own despair. We are lucky that we have each other, you our friends and kind, compassionate medical care. The painting is on 12″ X 16″ Kilimanjaro and I tried to capture the slippage and disintegration and lack of control you feel during these periods. We are not there yet and are bouncing back so a hearty thanks to all of you!

To the Dark Place



October 18, 2011 October 23, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:09 am
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A third Chemo painting from this cycle to share with you. With this painting I used cut strips of MASA to see how that would work. It was still a little tough to remove all of the mask but it worked fairly well. I like the way I was able to retain the bright spots and the water moved around the paper in a totally different pattern. A learning!

Chemo 7

Since I was able to “hold” the bright lights, I really “pushed” the darks in this one. I wanted to achieve something intense and deep.


October 14, 2011 October 20, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 10:51 am
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Chemo 6 - Arches CP - 12" X 16"

Back to my earlier process…no experimentation or Masa here…just thinking and feeling the chemo, the cell-killing chemo. Do you feel like the painting is floating in fluid? I tried to make it look like the flow was surrounded by other fluids and the cancer cells were being destroyed and were losing their vital, life giving blood. Maybe my words are too melodramatic but I keep screaming internally – kill, kill, kill that cancer!



October 13, 2011 October 18, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 10:13 am
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Haven’t been able to post for a few days because my camera was sick. I finally figured out, after trying several things, that my rechargeable batteries were shot. I bought some new lithiums and they are working fine.

Ken had his third round of chemo about a week and a half ago. We spent last week at home and he was able to run errands with me by the end of the week. He is still weak but was able to attend the opening of the Watercolor Society of Indiana show on Sunday.

This is the fifth in a series inspired by his Chemo and I tried something new. Leslie has inspired several artists to work with Masa paper collaged on watercolor paper. It can give very interesting effects. I wad and soak the paper before I collage it to my Arches CP paper. I don’t apply any color until after the collaging is complete but I often paint before the collage is dry. I use masking fluid on my paintings and I wanted to see if I could remove the masking from the Masa. You can if you apply it heavily but it doesn’t work very well. Ken really likes this particular painting and it has not motivated any modifications during my “living with it” phase. Hope you enjoy!

Chemo 5


September 2, 2011 September 4, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:42 am
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I am posting the fourth in a series of watercolor paintings that (I hope!) present my hopes and feelings as my husband goes through chemotherapy. He has had his first treatment and I am very grateful to be able to say he has not yet had many of the most horrible side effects. He is extremely tired and weak. With this painting on Kilimanjaru CP paper. I wanted to give a feeling of something active entering the blood stream and from there the body. To do this I did my painting and then floated the puddle of yellow-green (which of course because it had blue underneath became green…DUH!). I always think of chartreuse as a very active, acidic color so it seemed to be perfect for the task.

Chemo 4

You will probably be thrilled to hear that I am working on a couple of ATC’s of cherry tomatoes. They are and will be for you a good break from my chemo paintings. Have a wonderful holiday tomorrow. After this HOT summer, Indiana is supposed to cool and refreshing weather.


August 31, 2011 September 2, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 9:51 am
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When painting this I was thinking about the trauma-filled, scorched earth nature of Chemo. The painting is done on a small, roughly 8″ X 10″, sheet of Arches. I think it is interesting that you can see the small “pools” of color covering the Arches CP surface. It is much less absorbant than the other papers I’ve been using. I am learning so much by using all the different papers that were given to me recently.  Definitely makes a huge difference in the technique needed and the look you can achieve. But then you all probably knew that!

Chemo 3



August 30, 2011 August 31, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:29 am
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I just completed my second Chemo painting. I did this one on a sample of Waterford 140# CP paper that was given to me by a retiring docent. I like this paper. It held up well and didn’t ripple or buckle. For this super wet technique I don’t like the surface as well as the Lana and Kilimanjaro – too much sizing. This a small painting – maybe 8″ X 10″. The subject is scary but I think you can tell I also feel hope.

Chemo 2

Ken is holding up reasonably well. He is very tired and weak. The low point for his red and white blood cells will be over the weekend. I hope he begins gaining his energy and strength back next week. This Chemo is given on a three week cycle.


August 28, 2011 August 29, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 9:34 am
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“Chemo, chemo, little cell killer…”

“Scorched earth, scorched body”

“Source of hope, source of healing”

These are just some of the thoughts I’ve been feeling. It is a real roller coaster ride. Chemo has such an intense effect on a person’s body but it may be the only hope for a decent quality of life. Anyway, again this experience with its highs and lows inspires me and, of course, the circles are back. (and Ken is tolerating his first treatment very well…thank you for sending those positive thoughts!)

Chemo 1

I like this painting very much and was struck by the fact that at its heart are the primary colors. I don’t know if this was came from my primal core (when I started painting in 2007 I did a series of 7 abstracts using just primary colors) but I know it was subconscious.

On a positive note, I received a purchase award at the opening of the Hoosier Salon Juried Show. Made me very proud.