Last week I was mentioning that I was stuck. I had looming homework deadlines and I was trying to create a valentine piece for “Valentine for Aids” hosted for the last 18 years by a funky, artsy coffee house downtown. I’ve been invited the last 4 years to submit. I should have said no, passed on this opportunity. But I feel that I have given up a lot of things I really love in order to juggle my family, job, and school.
Here is my final piece:
I had this collection of things sitting on my work table for nearly a week, moving them, stacking them, unable to break my need to use them!
The photo is one of my great uncle and his wife and is part of a stash of photos I found in the box that my grandma had given me before she died. What’s remarkable is the obvious affection there is between these two people, these are no staged, grim looking poses. These are candids of two people who loved each other. The story of them was a bit of a scandal and a mystery in the family I was told. I only have pieces of the story but she was nearly 20 years older than him and he was barely over 20. As I worked on this piece I thought about making a book about them and creating my own “memories” of them. This is an idea that I’m working on even now.
The coin purse is from a collection my father in law gave me when he was helping to clean out the house of an elderly neighbor who had no children.
Found items: memories made, and so memories found kept coming to my mind, these things were telling me the story of a couple on a special day and I could imagine the woman saving the leaves she found and pressing them in a book, saving his letters.
I could imagine it sitting on her dresser slowly aging as she remembered the time of this picture. I scratched in the wet top layers of the paint imagined memories she might have had of him, of their time together.
Overall, I really loved this piece. It’s a love story. As I went to the artist reception this week I had butterflies in my stomach, worried that my piece would be less art and more “craft”, or that it would stand out as so obviously bad compared to all of the other pieces.
But I went, alone as my husband had to take the girl to ballet and do something with the boy.
Even though I felt isolated and lonely, I wandered the shop to see all of the art displayed. And there, on the main wall at eye level was my piece, it looked lovely, and I got the same little thrill when I’ve seen something I’ve created on walls other than my own house.
It was unique, the colors were soft, and no other piece had a coin purse on it.