It is Marice Ettlin Caro, my spouse and the love of my life that I acknowledge first for sharing her life with me and helping me to become a better person. With all my imperfections I tried to do the same with her. Of course I love my children and my family but that is pure biology. I did not choose my family but I did choose Marice. .
On this May 21 of 2011, "retired" from SCIENCE and MEDICINE after 40 glorious years and continuing my devotions to my FAMILY I shall start a new journey into ART.
I recognize that I shall never finish this work. It will be easy and relatively boreing to review what it was done. But planning what is left to do will be impossible because when I finish one project the next will start. Or it might be that when I become older I will lose the excitment of wondering what is next. Then I will be able to finish. I guess that is what I will call death even if I am alive.
I will organize this web by a series of questions.
My great granduncle, Rafael Eiroa, was an artist in the late IXX century Spain. One of his paintings was in my parents’ home which I could see from my bedroom. It was a middle age woman sitting in a dilapidated straw chair. Her face was void of expression, her eyes unfixed and gazed into space. It was almost as if she was waiting to catch the opportunity she did not have. Every night I fell to sleep thinking about her, about opportunities, the future, and most definitively that I wanted to paint like my uncle Rafael.
After the Spanish Civil war, my family like many others immigrated to America looking for the freedom they did not have under the fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco. I still remember vividly those 21 days crossing the ocean aboard the ship Buena Esperanza (Good Hope). My uncle’s large canvas painting was carefully removed from the frame by my father, rolled and stored into a trunk labeled “memories from Spain”.
We settled in Uruguay, a small country between Argentina and Brazil, made entirely of European descendants. Uruguay was nicknamed the “Switzerland of l America”. For it was the prospect of freedom, education and opportunity that lured my family to transplant from Spain to Uruguay. Many years had passed before my mother decided to open the trunk. The canvas was severely damaged. At every turn of the flattened roll the oil paint had chipped away. I was a teenager and had forgotten the woman sitting in a chair. Nevertheless, my parents knowing my interest for art suggested that I repair her. I bought oils and brushes and I did it! I knew then what I wanted to become. But when I told my father about my desire to enter the school of art he said “study son, you will always have time to paint”.
I became a physician and soon after graduation I moved to the USA with my wife and daughter looking for freedom and opportunities, like my parents did. It has been a great 40 years journey but I never found time to paint like my father said.
Thus, I left medicine and science at age 60 to find time to paint. Over the last three years I found the joy of the opportunity but also the need of a formal education in art so that I can translate what I imagine into color and shapes. But I do not want to occupy a seat at the Academy of Art University at my age just to satisfy a capriccio of my childhood.
Metamorphosis/evolution/transformation/change...we must accept, embrace and not be afraid of. The power of a role model, of someone saying “I want to be like you”. There is no doubt that my life experiences in medicine will influence my perception and doing of art. And how I will loop in my learning of art back into medicine and society at large is only in my imagination. Will I have enough time? But if only a few in my social network, that are frozen in their success or misery, have the courage of real transformation, I would say this effort is not in vain. And it does not appear to be in vain since my youngest son Rafael came to see me yesterday suggesting his interest in art. After reading this statement of intent he smiled and firmly said “I will start a carreer in art this fall semester”. If I finish wanting to paint like my uncle Rafael and my son Rafael, I would say it is not a bad way to end.
Dear Dr. Caro:
I should tell you I read your web page entitled "Family, Science and Art of Jose F Caro" and I found it really interesting. To be honest, it made me think about life and what life is about.
At the end of the day, it seems that the most important thing to a person is family and friends. No matter how successful one has been in his career, how many papers published, how many marathons run,... at the end is people around you that counts.
I'm far from many people that I love, and again, reading your page made me think what is really important in life.
Thank you for sharing it.
Hello Dr. Caro. I absolutely love the pastel. You are so talented. I remember you when I was in my medical training at ECU medical school/PCMH. I finished in pediatrics/neonatology. May God continue to bless you and your edeavours in art in 2012.
these are my Jewels. I am very proud of them.
I have to say that I am in the USA and I have married an american, because of that visiting period in Greenville, with you, that has revolutionized my life perspective.
Your art work is great and I know you are happy, you have always been and always will be.
I look forward seeing you and Marice.
Clearly you are always welcome in San Antonio, in our house.