When I returned home after the funeral, I spent the next two weeks just cleaning the house. I didn't want to stop, because I didn't want to let the pain sink in. But I also knew I needed to make something. I just wasn't sure what.
Finally I gave myself permission to just play, to return to familiar motions, and I picked up needle and thread.
|Buddha's Kiss 36"H x 27"W hand and machine embroidery, Mom's crochet|
|Lotus Pink, 16"H x 13"W (framed) NeoColorII crayon on paper|
This is the drawing that I made the machine embroidery from on Buddha's Kiss. I liked it enough to frame it as its own work.
Since I was already working, I looked at the requirements for an upcoming show (Women of Appalachia). This year the request was for a body of work (6-10 pieces), with a common theme. I decided the theme for these works would be "Zen Garden".
|Sea of Tranquility, 39 1/2"H x 27"W, hand and machine embroidery, Kreinik thread, Mickey Lawler Skydyes|
I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. And I really love the way the lotus turned out in this piece.
|Jewel of the Lotus, 33"H x 22 1/2"W applique, Mom's jacket, silk|
I also brought some of Mom's clothing home to use for art. The gold background is from one of her jackets. It was hard to tear it down, I had to keep reminding myself that she didn't need it any more, and I have a photo of her wearing it. I know she'd be happy with how pretty it turned out.
|Inner Light, 25 1/2"H x 33 1/2"W Hand dyed silk, Dutch wax batik, beading|
Now it is almost fall, and Mom's birthday is coming up. I can feel the anxiety building already. She would have been 67 this year. Some days I just want to hide under the bed, but having this goal and deadline has helped me make it through the summer. Friends keep telling me the pain will lessen over time, and I know life goes on. I just want to make sure it would be one that would make Mom proud.