Sunday, March 08, 2009

New Work

(Above: Decision Portrait Series. Dealing with Alzheimer's. Unframed: 25" x 19". Framed: 31"x 25". Xylene photo transfer on tea-stained muslin. Stitched words: I put my father in a home; Roosevelt was always the president; He thought I was his brother; The hardest part was taking him from my mother. Click on image to enlarge.)

I'm behind in blogging....but thinking...a lot! There are photos to be cropped, corrected, and titled. There are links to be made. There are so many feelings, ideas, and thoughts to be expressed about the embroideries I recently saw in England. I'm working up a marathon of posting because I really do want to remember the experiences. The inspirations and decisions are impacting me already. So, check back. Maybe even tonight I'll be composing, uploading, and sharing.

In the meantime, I'm not behind on my personal work. (Yippee!) Above is the latest piece in my Decision Portrait Series. It is called Dealing with Alzheimer's. I've known Sam Crews for many, many years. We've swapped family stories while attending antique auctions. Sam used to work as a small business lawyer. His professional advise solved a few employee dilemmas and also navigated the paperwork for Mouse House's incorporation. When we met, our children were in diapers and our parents were young and vital. Over the years, our children grew into adults....and Alzheimer's entered the picture. I haven't had to face this situation, but Sam has...with grace, prayers, and a saving sense of humor. I hope people seeing this artwork reflect on their family members, think about their own preparations for the future, and the decisions we all have ahead....We're all getting older! This portrait will be on display at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios for the annual spring gallery crawl called Artista Vista, April 23 - 25th, 2009.

(Above and below: Grave Rubbing Quilt Series: Lost at Sea. 18" x 21". Crayon on silk rubbing, scraps of an opaque chiffon scarf, hand and machine embroidery on severely light-damaged remnants of an old curtain. Words: Lost at Sea; Drowned (repeated); We therefore commit this body to the deep...Looking for the resurrection....When the sea shall give up her dead." Click on images to enlarge.)

I didn't photograph the reverse of this small art quilt as I didn't use vintage linens. I did, however, use recycled black felt in place of the batting. It came from the local canoe and kayak shop. New boats are sent to such stores wrapped in perfectly usable felt. The owner didn't want to throw it away, so he gave me yards and yards of the stuff! There's something wonderful in using old linens, recycled materials, and grave rubbings together. The used fabric just seems to feel it is lending a spirit of the past and making a point of remembrance. It also seemed "right" to incorporate something attached to the notion of a "boat" with the sentiments of loss and mystery surrounding such a death.

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