Dec 23, 2010


I've been working diligently to get my studio/craft room in order. A place surrounded by my personal treasures and things that inspire. It's been a long difficult process getting back to my creative roots. Life has a way of robbing one of creativity when your primary focus is on survival.

I'm weary of simply surviving. The artistic vein runs deep in my family and I am determined to find my place as an artist before I die.

My maternal grandfather was an artist. Rumored to be worthless. "Never worked a day in his life." Ran off with a Red Cross worker during World War 1 leaving behind a wife and 4 children who were farmed out to relatives and orphanages. One of whom was my mother.

My mother was raised by a maternal aunt who had huge oils of landscapes in her home. I would sit as a child for hours staring at those paintings. Mesmerized by each brush stroke. Never knowing my own grandfather had created them. My parents, neither of whom possess a sentimental bone in their body, informed me they left the paintings behind when they sold the aunts home. Groan.

Every time I go thrifting I look at the art. It is my fantasy to find one of his paintings one day. Currently, all I have left of him is a photo and a ring from World War 1 worn by his lover. I never met him. He died from complications of being mustard gassed at the age of 50.

Unlike my parents I am sentimental. Normally, I would never be attracted to the above miniature pitcher and bowl yet it is one of my treasures because The Boy gave it to me. The Oregon Rose Festival plate reminds me of my early child hood in Portland. The recently rescued head vase was found in the bottom of a canvas bin at the Weigh n' Pay where glassware is 40 cents a pound. The Artist is a kindred spirit who also rescues. Motivated by sentiment.

If I were an animal I'd be a crow or a ferret because I love to drag treasures into my nest. Mostly shiny. Sparkly. Old things that have a great deal of appeal to me because once upon a time they belonged to someone. It's who I am. Obviously not everyone is of the same persuasion.

This may be why I have these 3 children who are also not like everyone else. I spend a great deal of time trying to explain to them that it is supremely unimportant to fit into the world's view of "the mold." When The Boy was embarrassed over his self portrait because it didn't look like the other students I told him stories about other people who didn't create like others but were never the less great artists. Van Gogh. Mozart. Dali. Kahlo. Pollack.

We can't all be Bach's or Renoir's. We are simply not wired in the same manner.

Looking around the room there are vignettes that are me. They remind me of who I am and of what I like. Not what I think I should like. Not what I think others would like.

Two rescued ladies which I am repairing slowly but in the meantime hold my book marks from vintage jewelry and buttons. They frame a linoleum print purchased in the farmers market during a visit to the artist.

A temporarily home for my recent costume jewelry purchases. A quarter a pair from a garage sale they grace a rescued lamp.

A grocery bag in the making made from a discarded Bath and Body Works tote, a vintage pillow case and rescued trim.

Sporting my new label.

Vintage trays. The perfect place for my late night bling creations from discarded costume jewelry.

Salma Hayek sums it up nicely for me:

"People often say that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves. "

Or inside a Weigh n' Pay dumpster, perhaps?


debe said...

treasures indeed!

a work space is precious! keep after it..

Elizabeth said...

You're damn good! Wow. You should open an etsy site --

Zoey's mom said...

Elizabeth's advice was goo ... I'd go Etsy.Beautiful.all of it.

I am a antique,flea market girl myself.Grew up in NY going to auctions and shows.Haven't fit it into my busy life the last few years but I think I'll change that in the coming year.A good find at a swap meet makes my heart sing!

Island Rider said...

Beautiful. And I am glad to know you like sparkly things.


Island Rider: Is this a hint? I can hardly stand it. When is Christmas morning?