Termites make didgeridoos but they can't play them.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Thinking of Spring and Memorials and Things

Soon. Well, maybe not that soon. The above is spiderwort from last June, so I guess you could say it's already come and gone. But the sun is confident now and leaning into us, a whole different god from high January, and, even in Minnesota, a brisk walk brings Spring sweat and the dream-taste of pre-pubescent pollen.

Also a year, or more, I can't even remember, late. This dresser I painted for Mary. I haven't yet been able to take a picture I like so I haven't bothered sharing. I finally decided I don't care and so here they are. The light is the problem. I should have dragged these outside before I put Mary's clothes into them and taken proper pictures then, eh. Oh well. These were a vanity and a nice tall dresser which belonged to her maternal grandmother who passed away this past year. No one wanted them but Mary and Mary wasn't so sure. Unfortunately, when they got into our house they began to emanate a particularly strong odor of old cigarette smoke. Long story short, several different attempts at cleaning and various existing insults of time had left them in such a condition that they were scheduled to be junked. Then, one day in Target's so called global bazaar Mary and I are walking and she indicates a certain painted piece and says, "Could you do that?" And so I did, or something like it. I really do like these a lot better in person than in these photos. There is a warmth to them, a richness which we really wanted, both for aesthetic reasons--I mean simple decorating reasons--but also because they represent a tangible link with her grandmother. Handling a drawer pull day after day that another's hand has handled day after day, one wants to honor that life and memory even if in such a prosaic way as in storing one's socks. The colors and graphic choices were meant to reflect Mary's interest in Indian decorative art as well as her grandmother's Swedish nature. Also, I couldn't help thinking of Mary's strong interest in tattoos and tattoo art in general. Finally, though it might sound kind of weird, for much of the painting process, which was more ritualistic and repetitive than intellectually creative, I found myself praying. It didn't seem like a bad idea at the time and so, one way or the other, I found myself considering these to be memorial celebrations.


Decorative Art Painting said...

The dresser looks fabulous. I think the color combination is really good. The beautiful floral designs have complimented the red background. I am glad you shared the photographs.

Carie said...

Beautiful dresser! WOW! You are very talented!

Anonymous said...

The furniture is super. What a wonderful thing to do. I'm glad you got the furniture and did this terrific thing with it. ("Uncle" Merle)