Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Artistry of a Gentle Soul

Myself and sister Kelly, with Mom; taken on the occasion of Kelly's birthday in March 2010

Drawing has been very difficult for me over the past several weeks, and thus, non-existent.  Actually it has been a struggle to engage in anything art-related.  So I decided earlier this evening to get back to my blog by starting at the beginning..........starting at what feels like the recalibration of my life following recent events.

As is true for any of us, I've had periods of time in my life that were tremendously difficult to navigate; times when the challenges seemed overwhelming.  But nothing could have prepared me for the loss of my Mom in early November, several days after a heart surgery that, by all accounts, was expected to be successful.  For many days afterwards I felt as if the wind had literally been knocked out of me.  

As one of my cousins so aptly put it, "Your Mom was the gentlest soul I've ever known."  She was a tremendously sweet and kind woman, and possessed an unpretentious and quiet classiness that drew others to her.  Her giggle was infectious.  My Mom loved her children and grandchildren absolutely unconditionally, and though a couple of us gave her plenty to worry about in our youth (I won't mention any, she always knew that one day we would be the fine adults that she and my Dad had spite of ourselves.

My mom was also my earliest art inspiration.  When I was a very young child she made paper dolls for me out of cardboard, and taught me how to trace around them to make their clothing.  The possibilities were endless!  I recall my preference for her paper dolls over store-bought ones, and can vaguely remember pestering her relentlessly to draw more paper dolls.  Many years later my Mom would accompany me on a road-trip to Bethesda, Maryland, to attend my first CPSA International Exhibition.  It was the first time I had shown work in a venue of that size, so I was appropriately petrified........and her presence and nature helped calm me.  We rode the subway, both for the first time in our lives -- and laughed at our own cluelessness pertaining to making our way around a big city. 

Both my sister and I were very close to our Mom; we talked to her daily, sometimes several times a day.  Occasionally when I would be very focused on a particular part of a drawing I would allow the phone to roll over to the recorder, and then I would hear from the direction of the kitchen..........."Lynda??  This is your Mother.  Are you screening your calls?????"    : ) I begin to get my land legs under me again, this felt like the best place to start -- the only place to start.  Thanks for reading.

".......all endings are also beginnings.  We just don't know it at the time."
        Mitch Albom,  The Five People You Meet in Heaven