What Makes A Painting Work Art Blog
by art_composition , February 4, 2013—12:00 AM
Going through a person________s things after a death can bring up powerful universal emotions: loss, love, nostalgia, remembered hurts and joys, guilt, and occasionally bewilderment. Why was this important to her? Why did he save this? Who were these people? There will be things to keep, things to send to other family members or friends of the deceased, things to toss out, things to donate, and in time you might find inspiration to the artist within you. For those things which bring out powerful emotions most often are those from which art emerges. The mixed media painting developed from my thoughts in looking through unidentified photos going back at least to the early 1920s which had been among my mother-in-laws possessions. With the sorrow of seeing once precious mementos now detached from their original means and reflecting upon Emily Dickinson________s poem ______"The bustle in a house/the morning after death/Is solemnest of industries/Enacted upon earth,--/The sweeping up the heart,/And putting love away______________, I began to put together ideas with some of the clues that had come down in family lore, especially my husband________s grandmother________s long ago tales of Wisconsin. There were place names that helped me choose which part of the map to include in this work. There were stories of her girlhood, when wolves could still be seen running in the woods as evenings came down early during winter. There were stories of giddy young girls crazy about fashion, of the devastation that disease could play in that time before antibiotics, and of good times and bad within family and within community. I wanted to capture both a sense of a specific era and place as well as a connection to the universal. The torn papers and broken lines are meant to help along with the sense of seeing only a fragment of certain lives. The photo corners symbolize the often futile effort of capturing the event and tying it down. There are other ways to go back into those family archives to create art. Take a black and white photo and create a larger work in color, perhaps as an oil, pastel, or watercolor painting. Letters or journals can inspire. Use transfer media to capture images from old photos and make them part of a work, rather than using the actual photo in a collage. Your imagination can take you from this point as you salvage meaning from the past.