AJN On the Cover
In describing what inspired him to create this month's cover painting, America the Beautiful, artist Charles Kaiman says, "When I was a young child, my mother used to sing to me 'America the Beautiful.' The joyous image of 'purple mountain majesties' was imprinted on me." Kaiman never thought he would actually see those mountains, believing they were imaginary. But after fleeing New York City in response to the 9/11 attacks and settling with his wife and son in 2003 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he recalls that when driving up to their new home, "There were the mountains, in all their splendor and majesty!"
They are called the Sandia (Spanish for watermelon) Mountains because of their reddish tint. To Kaiman, sunrise over these mountains represents "the resilience of America in the face of adversity." He says he "tried to capture this theme in this painting. It's an appropriate theme for the 10-year anniversary of 9/11."
For the past 30 years, Kaiman has worked as a psychiatric nurse and clinical nurse specialist in psychiatry, primarily treating veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. "The diverse but complementary endeavors of art and nursing are mutually enriching," he says. "I'm thankful to have the opportunity to pursue them."
Kaiman began studying art 50 years ago, when he was just 13 years old, at the Art Students League of New York. He has had more than a dozen one-man shows and is currently represented by Blue Mountain Gallery in New York City. For more on Kaiman's work, go to www.bluemountaingallery.org/artists/20 and see Art of Nursing this month. Kaiman also talks about his work in a podcast interview on our Web site.—Alison Bulman, senior editorial coordinator