Years ago, my ongoing theme was ‘vestiges of an imagined history’.  The following is an old journal entry that, for some reason I was compelled to include in one of my rubber stamp sheets.

“unlocking the mythology of my soul finding and releasing the pagan priestess locked within the flesh of this pasty white anglo saxon body scraping through the layers of cheap Danish modern furniture suburbia and the absolute absence of meaningful conversation that was my youth rhinestones and Lillian and poodles and milquetoast americana looking for my inner self in library stacks disappearing into Byzantium the dark ages and the early renaissance losing myself in fantasy novels and things that might have been looking for ways to create things out of time creating my own cultural heritage since the real one doesn’t seem to fit”

I didn’t come from a super eccentric family, there were no high achievers or spectacular role models and for years felt it was an almost unbearable uphill battle to be a ‘true artist’.  Mine is a middle class, middle of the road family with roots in the rural deep south.  I grew up feeling like an outsider, not fitting in, not too many friends.   My poor mom – she didn’t have a clue what to do with me.  I can look back now and see the unhappy disconnect that was a pervasive theme in my life.  I had yet to discover that all those urges and dreams and longings weren’t about an imagined history, just one that had been temporarily forgotten.

I do still love the work I created during my disconnected years.  Lots of production work, but my favorite pieces are always the ones that were inspired by the Middle Ages – you know that imagined history …

jeweled pendant '02 or '03

matching jeweled earrings

I did a three piece series for an ArtFest workshop that never happened.  The Faerie Godmother’s accoutrements – a wand, tiara and book of wisdom.

Faerie Godmother's Wand

Her Tiara

Faerie Godmother's Book of Wisdom

I loved this little book.  Especially the angel on the back.

full view

Sadly, the book was stolen from my table at the 2004 ArtFest Vendor Night.  I often wonder who has it and how that person feels about stolen property.  I have to trust in karmic debt on this one.

I spent many years bemoaning my unadorned history;  it never occurred to me to embrace and celebrate it.  Today, the disconnect has all but dissolved; what felt like a crazy puzzle with missing pieces, is sorting itself out.  All those seemingly mixed up pieces have been laid flat and they do indeed all fit together … beautifully.  My ongoing series of work has been renamed – ‘vestiges of a forgotten history’ – I just chalk up all my different personas to bits of past lives bubbling up in my subconscious.

And always a favorite pastime …  I love to look for things that challenge my skills and my perspective … much more productive than whining about what never happened.  Here’s a couple of more recent additions to the Vestiges series …

labradorite faceted cubes with 22k accent

And a jewel encrusted cross that I gave to my sister …

Shirley's cross

And a tiny box I made for an exhibition.  I love boxes, especially tiny ones.  This one has reduction frit embedded into the edges and the top knob is beach glass.

Faerie Box

Periodically things come into my life that make me uncomfortable, fiction or biographies or blog-posts that challenge my sensibilities, artistically and life in general.

A recent opportunity …..  The current issue of Selvedge has an article about J Morgan Puett and her Mildred’s Lane project.  Here’s a highly intelligent woman, deeply passionate, living and breathing creativity from every pore.  The descriptions of her surroundings and collected objects are from the strangely compelling department – “the stairs designed in an algorithmic pattern based on her antique flour-sack collection … seemingly random steps of different sizes, which makes walking up an down an exercise in intense concentration.” ; “framed over the bathtub are a year’s worth of nail clippings and two plaited pigtails from Grey Rabbit…” that’s her son.  Like I said, curiously compelling.  I don’t know, maybe just plain strange.  It does make me think.  Another one of her ideas – after closing her final store, she petrified all the remaining clothes in beeswax, making them into still-lifes now sold at an art gallery.  The workings of this kind of mind are incredibly intriguing and ever so challenging –  at least they are for me.

I do love a good challenge, especially if it makes me squirm a bit.

BTW – for my birthday I got a cold.  The day was spent running just a few errands and taking it easy – Chick Fil A for lunch, bought a copy of Ever After, one of my favorite movies and the new Oprah magazine – okay, so my milquetoast roots show up every once in a while.

And for today’s local news, there’s a bunch of blog posts from folks in my part of the world showcasing our ginormous snowfall.  Thankfully we were well prepared and our power stayed on.  Our neck of the world got about 8 – 10″.

a couple of snowy pics …

backyard wonderland

a bit of snow sculpture …

frigid chaise

With that I’ll bid a good evening.  My mom flies in to Charlotte on Monday and will be here through the week; my brother drives over, hopefully, on Wednesday.

So I’ll be wishing everyone a joyous and safe holiday.   Thank you all for visiting.

With enormous gratitude and many blessings – kvk

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