Childhood Memories Influence My Work

August 04, 2010

Have you been watching Bravo's Work of Art?  It's the ONLY show on television in the last 10 years at least where I do absolutely nothing while watching it.  No knitting, no flipping through a magazine, no talking, no eating, no beading...nothing.   I mentioned in an earlier post that I've been saving the episodes on my DVR, because I want to watch them again and glean as much as I can.

Why? It's sort of like taking an art class where the teacher throws out limits on your project and then tells you to get to it. I love that. Give a group of people no limits and the same limits and see what they come up with. It's a great exercise when you're out of ideas.  I hate to admit it, but I've been secretly pleased when one of the artist contestants struggles and almost panics.

Frankly, some of the works of art have been amazingly vapid in my opinion. Then others amaze me with their depth.

I did delete Episode 6 - the one with the outdoor installation at a city park.  I hated both art projects and the one selected was nothing special.  The best part of the episode was Erik's blow-up at Miles.  How many viewers have wanted to say the same things?!  Miles not only has talent, but he's extremely bright.  Manipulative, too.  I am also tired of Jaclyn's need to strip down in every episode.  I think she's gotten over her shyness, don't you? 

Which brings me to Episode 7 - Child's Play.  In this episode the artists were challenged to create works with kid-friendly materials that symbolized the moment their artistic expression began.  For me I would use crayons and create a mandala.  At about 5 years old I have memories of drawing circles and dividing the shape into pie slices and then drawing lots of squiggly lines through each pie slice and coloring each shape differently.  I must have made dozens of these, as I gave them as gifts to my Grandmothers, teachers and parents.  I've been thinking about taking up Zentangle, as I think it will put me back in touch with this spontaneity!

My childhood was less than ideal, but it has been a source of inspiration.  In the Arms of a Tree, above, is a pendant I created a few years ago using a gorgeous blue Swarovski crystal and Picture Jasper cabachon.  Picture Jaspers are so interesting.  I think they're kind of like a Rorschach test, as you see what your soul wants you to see.  I saw a young girl seeking comfort in a tree, which was something I often did when I needed space to think.

Diamond in the Rough is a brooch I created to celebrate the moment I was unshackled from my past and free to become whoever I wanted to be.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Pablo Picasso

How does your childhood come out in your work?