Friday, September 29, 2006
Studio Friday - toot your own horn!
This week's topic for Friday September 22nd suggested by Gabi: TOOT YOUR OWN HORN... LOUD! "Studio Friday, for me, is a network of artists from all over the world. It's a fabulous way to communicate ...I would love to see a showcase of what YOUR art is. ...I'd love to see a piece that you have created that you are most proud of. SHOW off your STUFF!!" ~Gabi
This is hard, particularly for women, I think, because many of us were taught from an early age to be modest, but as working artists, I think a certain amount of horn-tooting is necessary (so thank you Gabi for the suggetion)... and my blog is definitely a place where I want to show my art - not just for exposure, but also for inspiration and feedback, and to allow me to feel that I am a part of a larger artistic community.
This is an altered book that I created last year, as a featured piece in a juried gallery show that I was fortunate to be able to do along with my friend, Debbie. The show was entitled "Facing Pages" and included swap journals, individual journals, handmade books and altered books. Although my personal journals are a treasured source of inspiration and therapy for me, this altered book was my favorite piece in the show. It tells a rather sad story, however...
A year after my husband and I bought our first house, we found a bird's nest in a large hanging pot of impatiens on our front porch. Every day, for five days, when I would take the pot down to water it, a new egg appeared in the nest. I very carefully watered around the nest to keep it dry, and I patiently awaited the arrival of the little birds who would be born among my flowers. I was so pleased that mama bird had chosen my porch as a safe spot for building the nest, and that my daily watering had not deterred her. I saw this as a symbol that this was indeed a wonderful home in which to live. One morning after watering, I returned to my kitchen and poured a cup of coffee. Moments later I heard a dull thud outside. I looked out toward our mailbox and driveway, thinking it might be a car door, or our mailman.
I saw nothing and forgot about it. About an hour later I went out to run some errands and saw what had made the sound. Because of the very hot summer day, I made sure to really water my impatiens pot well, so that the flowers that hid the birds' nest would not wilt. The pot was so heavy from the giant blooms and water that it crashed onto my porch, tossing all of the eggs onto the pavement. I was (and still am) heartbroken. I felt so sad for the bird who had so carefully crafted this perfect nest, and had so patiently sat on her precious eggs day after day. The nest was still sitting perfectly among the flowers.
I left it for a few days, hoping that perhaps mama bird would forgive me and return to start again, but she did not. So instead, I decided to memorialize the nest in an altered book that I hope tells a story of the importance of a home, and the simple perfect beauty of nature.