This blog is my portfolio of artwork, a journal about my process of making art...and the things that I have no words for...


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Being good to myself...

A found painting, 8/21/2011...random spray painting done by my Fred, he was spray painting somethings for a project and I found his left behind marks on the plywood intriguing
 
A found painting, another view, 8/21/2011
A found painting, yet another look, 8/21/2011

Starting over, new blanks to work with...yes, that is a Pringle's potato chip can on the table, I use it to store my brushes.
 Last weekend I started to think about new work...anything that I had started prior to my mother's death, I painted over as the flow had been disrupted and I just lost heart to work on what I had put there, so, I made them all white again. I will probably add some fresh rice paper in areas where I want to freshen up the texture as now there is no longer the papery feel to the surface that I prefer to maintain under the thin washes of paint...

Oh, I've hit a rough patch...we all hit them throughout our lives, these last two years have been emotionally rough as my Fred lost both of his parents within a year of each other, and now this month of August, my mother, and in the midst of this while struggling to find equilibrium three weeks to the day of my mother's death, my poor father had an accident at home and broke his hip...accidents happen...we were just feeling a sense of "normal", feeling less apprehensive about dad being home alone as his attitude and forward thinking were making us feel confident that he was going to be okay as time went by, but now this new change, shift in gears...oh the poor thing, I feel so bad for him! The surgery went well, his hip is fixed, and now, barring any medical complications associated with the surgery, he should be moved on to the rehab unit as early as Monday and the next step, the long road to recovery.

Lovely news tho' my mother's paintings and other crafts that she entered into the New York State Fair won prizes! She rec'd 4 honorable mentions and a blue ribbon...scrolling through the photos I took at the house, I only have the one of the bunny (he's leaning up against the wooden box on the rug):
Janie's Bunny and other things she made, the bunny won honorable mention. Her traditional hooked wool rug with little chickadees won a blue ribbon (similar in style to the rug on the left with Paul Revere, only it is smaller.) She hand dyed and hand cut her wool for these rugs.



Our little gallery, Moonlighting had its closing reception last night, my Fred and I were unable to make it as we were just returning from my father's house and I am gimping around with severe sciatic nerve pain because of the disc in my lower back became irritated (apparently, I haven't been good to myself, so now I'm paying for it in spades!) It is bittersweet shutting it down, it was a good experience having a place of our own to hang our artwork, inviting people in to see what we've done, and enjoying good company...but in a way that is a little bit selfish, I'm glad we're done with it (more time to paint!) We learned a lot and it's time to move on. I feel badly that I haven't been able to be there this past month with all that has gone on, but there isn't much to be done about it. On Sunday our show at Szozda Gallery is closing, and of course, Hurricane Irene is stopping by with wind and rain to make for a spectacular ending to our beautiful art show...oy vey, right?

I've been on my porch all day, propped on pillows in a chair, watching the world go by with my dog Max, he's been gnawing on a bone that is making him very happy (he was so unhappy and out of sorts while I was away.) A flock of black birds have been shuffling themselves about the trees with much cackling fuss and when they take off in a group, the fluttering of wings sound like a storm surge blowing in...the incoming storm must be making them nervous. I've noted today that the barn swallows have finished teaching the last of their little peas from their brooding nests and vacated the barn and our sky it's sad to think that summer is over already, I have loved watching their annual air show, and seeing their fledglings lined up on the ledges, looking like round little peas fresh from their pods.

No rain as of yet, but there is a prevalent gray sky above.

I am being good to myself...being patient with how things are...I'm doing some drawings to satisfy the need to be doing something creative...when I have a few finished, I will share them...it is back to black and white to work out what I need to do next or to just go with the flow, I always pick up a pencil when I need to start over again.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Loss...feeling lost...

My Mother's bed 8/2/2011
 My Mother passed away on August 3rd due to the inter-cranial bleeding from a stroke that put her into a coma on August 2nd, Janie was 80 years old. She got up that morning, made her bed, went about her daily routine until she complained to my father that she didn't feel well, and suddenly she fainted, and never woke up. Although it was very unexpected, I believe she knew her time was coming. She hadn't been ill at the time, she had been doing well since she had a TIA last January, a warning shot over her bow you could say, she had briefly lost her eyesight but gained it back quickly and resumed her life as a folk artist, painting was one of her joys in life. Her doctor was monitoring her and I believe she was due for an appointment in September...although some of us had noticed some forgetfulness and repeating herself during conversations, she seemed to be chugging along fine on her own steam, she was such a lively little lady no one suspected a thing...we knew if she didn't feel good she'd say so because she was a squeaky wheel when things weren't right in her world. My poor father has been left behind, and the rest of her family and friends in shock, who would've thought that she would up and die so suddenly, but yet, this would be the way she'd prefer it...to leave the world while still in motion, she would have made a terrible patient...




A is for Angels...this was in the Comfort Room where she spent her final hours...it was very appropriate as she loved angels.

We buried her on August 9th, and the sky opened up and poured rain almost all day long, it was pretty awful out, and I'm sure Janie would have been ticked off by the "shitty weather" on the day of her funeral.

The flowers from the funeral 8/9/2011
 We brought home the flowers and set them on the front stoop as we unloaded them from the cars, they looked so pretty there we left them as a tribute...

The garden
 This is the house that I grew up in, my father built it...of course with the help of several local craftsmen and laborers...it is a sweet little house, tho' at times I wonder how five of us lived in there without killing each other...I was outside most of the time, a roamer from dawn to dusk...I came home for meals and when the street lights came on...my mother had an iron school bell to call me home with when I was needed...I could hear it from a mile away...if not more. I've been told on more than one occasion this past week how much I resemble our Janie...I am, after all, Laura Jane...what a rebel name...yes, I am my mother's daughter, and there were times we didn't see eye-to-eye, there were times it seemed we couldn't exist in the same space because we were too alike and sometimes that isn't a good thing, but as we've aged we've gotten on better, and I loved calling her up and letting her talk because she was such a treat to listen to, a chip off the old block of her father, Gordon...I'm just the latest version of them both and Great Grandma too, but with a good blend of my father to balance things out just enough so the chip isn't so jagged that I'd miss the block too much...

Impatiens in an enamel coated metal colander, she planted these special this year and was very pleased about how well the flowers were doing in this arrangement...

I saw this the morning after she passed...a sweet little still life in the garden
 

The porch, with all of her things...
Although she's gone, she is everywhere we look in her house. Goodness knows, I will miss her every day for the rest of my life...I've had to "talk" to her a few times to ask her "What did you do with your wedding picture, Mom?" I found it tucked away in a photo album, the frame must've gotten broken...it took only patience to find it, and I found a second copy of it in a paper bag in the hall closet, full of photos from her mother's house after her father died...I am the finder of lost objects, except when it's my own things...(I do find them eventually in the last place I look, just like everybody else.) The photos that I found are treasures that will be comfort to us all...





My mother was a folk artist, she painted many beautiful things, usually on old wooden boxes, boards, bowls, benches, stools, chairs, and other odds n' ends that she'd find...and she won prizes at the New York State Fair. My sister and I will make certain that her entries are delivered this week as scheduled, she would've wanted us to do that...


Her final piece.
This is the last piece she worked on, it is the lid of a picnic basket, featuring historical buildings in our home town Lyons NY where she lived all of her life. All that was left to do is to finish the Wayne County Courthouse, and I've been asked to finish it for her...I couldn't work on it yet, but I will make a special trip home to take care of it...I need a little time to fill the hole left in my life, get back to something resembling "Normal"...and help my siblings settle our father into his new routine without his Janie, this isn't going to be easy, we're playing it by ear, hoping he can stay at home for as long as he wants to and for as long as he's able.