Friday, November 16, 2007
I am thankful that I have so many old family photos. I enjoy looking at the faces of people who came before me, and trying to discover, or imagine, what their lives were like. One of the saddest things to me is going to antique stores or my favorite consignment shop and seeing unidentified family photos for sale. Who were these people? Who loved them? What were their lives like? One motivation I have for posting some old photos on this blog is to memorialize my family members, because people are not really gone until nobody remembers them any more.
With those thoughts in mind, I have been trying to find ways to use scanned my scanned photos and documentation in art projects. I've always confined myself to watercolor painting and graphite or pen and ink drawings, but lately I've been experimenting. The altered post card is one example. I like the old postage stamps, and the handwriting, so I try to leave some of that showing. The example here has a skeletonized oak leaf (a messy project), doily, some stamping done on foam plates, and a photo of my great grandmother and an unidentified friend. I'm playing with this format and finding it very interesting.
The other project I have been working on is a personal shrine. This is really a departure for me. I have never worked 3-D, except for an ill-fated carving project I did in college. I used the directions in a book entitled Crafting Personal Shrines: Using Photos, Mementos and Treasures to Create Artful Displays by Carol Owen. I did the simplest one, using foamboard and rice paper as a base. The decorating is the fun part. I wanted a shrine, a little house of memory, dedicated to my late mother. Her birthday is coming up December 8, and I wanted to remember her in a special way. I have all sorts of things in this box, sewing paraphanalia, love letters, postage, quotes, a paint brush, a memorial card. It isn't done. I still keep trying out new items to include, and it needs a roof and a base. But I'm happy that I started something new that incorporates my family into my art.