I’ve been working on a series about people’s stories being mostly hidden and unknowable and finished this one last week, the white in it reminds me of ice which is appropriate since it is very very cold outside! One of the reasons I think we like the internet so much is that our stories are more easily communicated. You look at someone and you can’t really know their story, what they think, how they really feel—well if you are very observant you can know how they feel. I also wanted to make the atmosphere cold but magical and dark but with the possibility of light. The stories come from my mother, Carla Chlouber, who passed away several years ago and left a treasure trove of inspiration in the form of writing. She loved stories, just as I do and just as I think we all do.
I’ve been working with the short stories of my mother, incorporating text within the figures. I realized how we all have our hidden stories within us—they are always there but invisible to others. It’s easy to forget that most everyone is so caught up in their own story that they don’t really think about other peoples stories. We like to read stories, but if you look at a person you can’t know their story and even if you get to know them mostly their personal story is hidden (facebook and the internet changed the paradigm on this somewhat). Of course I knew this but realizing something and knowing something are, I believe, two entirely different things.
I wanted the background to feel magical yet threatening at the same time with layers of complexity. Maybe I should have titled it “Protect Us” instead of “Protect Me”?
This mixed media piece was inspired by the short story “The Poet’s Wife” by my mother, Carla Chlouber. I now have two of her short story’s up online on Booktrack, the other short story is “Women who were not born Beautiful”. Working with the short stories is very different than working with the poetry, I do love both but there is something about the poetry that I find very compelling—the poems are like a short sweet kiss on the cheek!
The piece I did above is in response to childhood, growing up and leaving home as I was thinking about my oldest daughter who left for college this year. I think those little childhood monsters are designed by our collective imagination to soften a difficult reality, which is that unfortunately there are monsters parading around as people after you leave home (well even before but most of us are somewhat sheltered by that, or perhaps used to be). So, for me the kiss is a wish of hope, both for our children and then for those of us who live more on the dark side of humanity.
This Morning I finished The Lady of the Lake! The piece was a lot of fun to do, it uses watercolor and encaustic (hot wax) mostly. I found a wonderful iridescent blue and green powder to add to the wax and it worked beautifully. I ended up really loving the poem it’s based on, whereas at first I didn’t respond to it. Appearances are not always as they first seem! Here is the poem if you missed it in a previous post;
The Lady of the Lake
I know a beautiful lady