Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Still Life Still Night" - digital collage
In June of 2001, the Marine Corps pulled into my driveway, grabbed my first born child, and took him away from me.

Although I knew that day was coming, I managed to keep myself in complete denial until it actually happened; and then I fell apart. I slipped into one of my deepest funks and couldn't even bring myself to go to my studio. Even now, as I write this, I'm weeping uncontrollably at the memory.

I finally decided to give myself permission to take the summer off. I went to my studio and locked up all my pastels; my Senneliers, my Schminkes, my Rembrandts, in the storage cabinet and made up my mind to spend every spare minute by the pool. And that worked, for awhile.

The pain of the "loss" eased a little and I began to itch to be creative again, but in a different way. In August we made a trip to Ottawa for a family reunion and while there I suddenly decided I wanted to learn all about collage. I haunted the art supply stores in downtown Ottawa, picked up Nita Leland's book on collage techniques (see side bar) and a variety of beautiful papers. I was truly excited again.

Once back home I made a variety of new collages using all sorts of textural papers and materials. My early collages were very different than the pieces I make today. In some ways they were better. They were freer and over the top and very, very textural. They were also scary to the uninitiated (read: my husband thought I was losing my mind).
I had a show coming up in October at the co-op in Baltimore where I was a member, and up until that point, no one had ever exhibited a collage. But I charged ahead with my creations. One of the pieces I decided to make was a magazine collage, where all the papers used in it came from magazine photos. I needed a subject and I looked at the suggested October themes for the co-op and they were "still lifes" and "scenes of Baltimore." I got this idea to combine the two themes and I came up with the sketch below.

From the sketch I created the magazine collage and I loved the way it turned out and its very whimsical quality, but I was hesitant about exhibiting it. See the date on the sketch? August 29, 2001. By the time the exhibit was hung, the travesty of 9/11 had occurred and I was so afraid that someone would think I was making a statement piece. Pear = pair = twin towers? But I'd created it before the incident so it had nothing to do with it. Fortunately, no one made that leap.

I'm not even going to go into the terror in my my mind on 9/11 with my son in boot camp. But I'm very grateful for my art which helped me keep my mind off those terrors during a very difficult time.

1 comment:

Shroudo - The Man Cave Chronicle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.