Today is day 12 of the month long writing challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers. This is my second year participating and I am grateful to the community that enables me to continue to live the writerly life.
This is the third year I have participated in a local nonprofit’s fundraiser called the “Art Palette Project.” The premise of the fundraiser is for local artisians to purchase a blank palette and transform it into a work of art. The art is then displayed and voted on by visitors to the gallery. It is a fun project for me because I get to create and play for a while, something I don’t take enough time to do on a regular basis. I also enjoy this event because my siblings all compete. (See last years post about the pressure to be try to be an artist among talented siblings) My creation this year was a personal homage to the lives of my wonderful parents. I wanted to think about how my parents loves and talents trickled into my life.
To pull this piece together I had some gathering to do. I visited my brother who now lives in my parent’s house and browsed through some of my dads old screws and keys and hardware galore. The smell of the basement and the tools brought back a rush of memories of times spent here building and creating things. I took out my moms old sewing kit and perused the threads and rick racks and ribbons of multiple colors, sizes and shapes. I thought about all the sewing projects she made for me and for her grandchildren. I called my sister to see if she had any of my mom’s old music that I could copy and cut into ribbon-like streamers to lace between the hole. I could hear her voice singing as I flipped through the songs. I perused stacks of old pictures of my parents and smiled and cried thinking of the memories they contained. I google quotes that I could place on the board that would best summarize how my parents lives meshed into mine. And then it came to me – the song my mom sang to us all whenever we hit a major milestone in our life: “My best to you may your dreams come true!” How fitting these words were to tie the whole project together. This was beginning to be such a labor of love.
Standing in front of my completed palette on opening night last night, I felt so proud. It was a pride that brought tears to my eyes and a warm feeling to my soul. I had created something that held such personal and emotional meaning to me – and to my family. My siblings understood the significance and the nuances of each little object and commented on how beautifully I had captured our lives. And much to my surprise, strangers asked me about the piece. It was heart warming to discuss the theme and the meaning all the while trying to hold back the tears.
This palette became art to me, holding deep meaning and emotion. Isn’t that what we want when we create anything from the soul – whether it be a painting or a piece of writing? We want and hope we can move the soul of our audience. I
think know I was able to do that with this piece of art.
|A Homage to Mom and Dad|
|My family and their pieces – Opening Night!|