Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Life, Death, Art and a poem

mixed media tiles (click on image to see detail)

One of the things I keep trying to do is create art that isn't like everyone else's work.  I contributed a couple small acrylic paintings this week to a show that was about 75% watercolors of spring flowers.  There is nothing wrong with paintings of flowers, but it's hard to stand out from the crowd when that's what I choose to do.  This isn't the clearest photo, but it is an example of some mixed media work I've been experimenting with lately.  It involves creating texture with acetone on styrofoam meat trays.  Once I have an interesting pitted texture I paint with acrylic and add gold leaf.  The resulting tiles look organic, earthy, like terra cotta. Sometimes I collage on gold leaves or tissue paper shapes.  People are usually fascinated.  I took this to my hairdresser today, just to show, and I think it's sold.  I'll know when I have cash in hand.

It has been a roller-coaster for the heart this week.  Two women in online reading groups became grandmothers this week. Two women in my neighborhood reading group lost loved ones - a son in his thirties, a husband just fifty years old.  New folks joining the party, and some leaving.  There has been a whole lot of hugging going on, virtual and actual.  Spring has arrived in southern Wisconsin, the leaves a green mist on the bare tree branches, and the daffodils and grape hyacinth paint splashes of color in my garden borders.  There's new life everywhere, but also the end of life, just in case we get too giddy and forget that we are mortal.

I love reading the poetry from The Writers Almanac, and this appropriate one was posted a couple days ago.

by Sharon Byran

Middle age refers more
to landscape than to time:
it's as if you'd reached

the top of a hill
and could see all the way
to the end of your life,

so you know without a doubt
that it has an end--
not that it will have.

but that it does have,
if only in outline--
so that for the first time

you can see your life whole,
beginning and end not far
from where you stand,

the horizon in the distance--
the view makes you weep,
but it also has the beauty

of symmetry, like the earth
seen from space: You can't help
but admire it from afar,

especially now while it's simple
to re-enter whenever you choose, 
lying down in  your life,

waking up to it
just as you always have--
except that the details resonate

by virtue of being contained,
as your own words
coming back to you

define the landscape, 
remind you that it won't go on
like this forever.


Charlene Brown said...

Thank you so much for including the enlarged picture and details of your technique. The result is quite captivating!

Claudia said...

Your artwork is extremely beautiful! I love the earthy texture! -Thank you for posting this and a very thoughtful blog ebtry, too!

Kim said...

Very clever using meat trays.

The poem sums up what I was thinking about my life today.

Sharon said...

Beautiful poem Sherry! And I really like the artwork, too.

Mjacobs said...

Very appropriate poem, Sherry, especially now.