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.

12 comments:

DEW said...

YAY!! You posted!! And this is one of my FAVORITES of yours! Folks - let me tell you that the pictures DON'T do this fab book justice!! It is very limenscent and just stunning!! Glad you tooted this one. Although I truly love your house book. YOU NEED TO PUBLISH IT!!! Subtle hinting - did you notice? LOL Love ya! D

Molly Simmons said...

This book is beautiful! The fact that you poured so much of yourself into it probably is what makes it so effective.

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laura said...

Kerri thats GORGEOUS!! thanks for sharing!

I need orange said...

Thanks so much for visiting my blog, and thanks for the compliment! My work is so different from yours -- I'm honored that you like it. I like yours, too. Yours is the kind of more layered work that I have, at times, tried (without success) to emulate..... I love your sense of color......

My sympathy on the loss of the nest. I would have felt horrible, too. I had a nest in a hanging begonia one time. Blue robin eggs with the hot-pink begonias..... I took pics every couple of days, and the last pic I took scared one of the babies out of the nest. I was horrified, and tried to catch it to put it back, but couldn't. I hope that means it was ready to be ok out of the nest......

I know it is pretty common for mother birds to build more than one nest. I had a mother cardinal on a nest in my yard this spring, and then ... she wasn't there. I hope it was because she decided a different location was better.....

Ouissi Gresty said...

I love this book...so beautiful! The nest & your use of the buttons are gorgeous...sad story though...

Ouissi x

Liz Ness said...

BEAUTIFUL -- you go right on tooting that horn loudly. That way all of us can find you and admire your awesome work! Seriously great art you have here!

Anke said...

This book is awesome even it has a sad story. I agree with your beginning post and bloggin. As an artist you kind of have to toot your horn if you want to sell or be known.

Anonymous said...

All I can say is "wow, what a story and what a lovely piece of art!" I love when you can learn the story behind someone's art piece, it makes the experience of viewing it all the more inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

Pamela said...

What a beautiful book! Great work.

Ellen said...

What a sweet, precious and sad story! I can very well imagine your absolute heartbreak. Sometimes the best pieces of art come from these very experiences, and your altered book is certainly something to toot your horn about!

Jesse said...

Sisser,

What a sad story! I usually come to your blog to cheer me up and this is what I find!! YIKES!!

Happy Birthday!!!

Love, Lil' Sisser