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Spring Fever (Mask Series) – 1991

Watercolor, pen, graphite – 29 x 19

What is spring fever anyway?  Is it a real ailment or something imagined?  The life force reawakening after a long dormant spell?  Is it the exuberant flip side of cabin fever?  Liberation after captivity?

Well, I did the research, and yes it is a real disease that can kill anyone who doesn’t have access to lemons, limes, apples or oranges – some source of Vitamin C.  So, in the past many people fell ill at the end of Winter when their Vitamin C reserves were depleted, and that was called Spring Fever on land, scurvy out at sea (for lack of anything fresh, except air.) It took many decades after the root cause of Spring Fever was determined for the cure to be accepted or supplied to most people who were suffering and dying from the disease.

Even so, in this mask drawing I persisted in offering up Spring Fever as a psychic celebration of the end of Winter, depicting it as desire bursting forth from the brain like a hatch of mayflies, or gnats, or midges – any winged thing ready to take on the world anew.  And also crimson streamers as further celebration of the blood rising to the occasion of longer days, the heating up of the Earth, the disappearance of river ice.  However, as a reminder of the importance of Vitamin C,  this version of Spring Fever is floating before a backdrop of lemon yellow.

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