This piece is inspired by my mom’s poem “Blackberry Wine”. For me it’s an important piece as it’s my month long tribute to the anniversary of my mom’s passing away. This poem was the one read in all the hecticness of the funeral arrangements for her memorial.
The piece was coming along and then one morning I looked at it and thought “It’s way to perfect in it’s manner”. So I got out the sander (which I love) and sanded it down. Then I was much happier with it as all the hidden colors came out. I wanted it to feel as if you were looking through a memory tunnel. One that’s unclear, with lost pieces, as memories can be. That’s how the poem makes me feel. Then I embedded the script from the poem in the darkness of the piece.
My parents used to make blackberry and dandelion wine, it’s funny because I’m fairly sure they never made wine out of daisy’s or black-eyed susan flowers. I’m not sure why the flowers and cows made my mom think of making/drinking wine? I find the poem perplexing in that way, but maybe that’s how memories are—not to accurate.
I asked my five year old (who’s very wise with art) what she thought of the piece. I told her I wanted it to feel like you were seeing a memory. She thought for a minute and then got out her pointing stick and proceeded to critic the piece! She said, “They’re not going to like that” and pointed to a spot, “it looks to ripped”, and, “I like that part.” “Don’t like that part”. etcetera etcetera…..
The funny thing was she really had some good advice! Here’s the poem;
We counted seventeen Angus cows
Moving silently into the clearing,
The cows first, then the calves, and last the bull,
Who paused to look our way
Before dismissing us as unimportant.
And then I saw that they were floating
In a field of black-eyed susans,
With small white daisies lagging at their sides.
The herd sailed slowly westward,
Pushed only by the slightest breeze—
Black barges on a golden sea.
And at that moment, it was as if the wine
Were already made, and I was looking at them
Through a shining haze of memory;
As if the sun had turned the berries
to their final liquid form,
To drink again and again, having only
To think of black cows in a field of yellow flowers.
July 15, 1983