1/28/2011

Sad Epiphany





A couple of years ago I started making collages on the pages of an early edition of Jansen' s History of Art, the sacred text of art history classes in the 1970s. I won't say these are great works but they help reconnect me with art-making, something I miss when involved with storytelling.

Storytelling is a wonderful art-form. It is very meaningful to me however I miss the tactile, productive quality of art-making - where the product is mine and I don't have to concern myself about people liking it or selecting me to be a part of their "show". I have hated that " selecting " process since the elementary school playground.

Perhaps its a part of the "diamond jubilee" ruminating but I am thinking a lot about the paths I have walked and folks I have known and valued. This week I learned that I had lost one of those. And I had not even known it until I googled her name to find how where she was - because I wanted to call her.

She died almost a year ago in another State - and none of her art colleagues here were informed. She was important to many. A teacher, a mentor, a colleague. Perhaps the family did not think we would want to know. Maybe they did not know who to call - the gallery would have been the one call they needed to make. In April on the anniversary of her death a group will gather at my house to celebrate her, her art work and contributions while we tell stories about her.
She was a very talented artist and an extremely memorable wit - a character. Well past her diamond jubilee, she was one of those "gals" - a personification of the gutsy broads you see in the 1940s movies.  She was always "perfectly coiffed" with a snappy quip on her tongue.

What happened?
She got old and sick. She moved away to be near one of her children and her "real"life dropped away.
No one knew her for who she really was.
Its not a new story.
But it is painful that I found her through a notice about a public sale of her art work - for pennies - after her death.

Maybe I am willing to learn the lessons from this.
  • Make a computer list with emails of those people I think would like to be notified when I die.
  • Clean my studio - now - and get rid of my artwork myself.
Then I can make my "bucket list" - - and have fun!

Without remembering my friend and hoping that does not happen to me.

3 comments:

Granny Sue said...

I agree. So sad about your friend. I hope you were able to get some of her art as a remembrance.

I've been thinking along those lines myself. I don't have artwork that I've made, but I do have many neat,antique or unique items collected along my path through life. I don't think my sons will want all of it, or even most of it--it was my taste and interest, after all, not theirs. So...who to give it to? Who will want it? I remember an argument amongst my granddaughters one day as we were traveling to a storytelling performance. They were arguing over who got my kitchen! Now mind, my kitchen is very old-time, non-modern, but it was the room they all wanted out of my house. So that part will be easy--I know who loves my kitchen stuff! The rest... not so easy.

Debbie Couture said...

Sorry to hear about your friend Ellouise. One of my uncles died this November and I found out about it when I looked him up on Christmas Eve because I realized he didn't send me a card this year and he always did. That's about all the contact he wanted with me. A few weeks later a lawyer who handled his final things for him wrote me a letter because I had sent my uncle a Christmas card. I did know from last Christmas his health wasn't good. Another older friend died and her sister went thru her address book and wrote us all a letter. It is something to think about but sad. Nice that you all are getting together to honor her.

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