Thursday, June 14, 2012

Michigan Series

Helloooooo!  I feel like I have been away.  Away in the basement anyways.  The last couple of weeks of school are crazy- I think everyone knows this.  Field trips, field day, class parties, locker cleanout....and officially this is the first week I have been a full time parent.  The girls are still alive but was touch and go on that!  I was so mad that when we went to the gym (still HATE any kind of exercise because it takes to long and is yucky and boring- who likes to sweat, really?) I made them walk around the outdoor track twice and told them if they complained or fell behind we'd do it three times.  I think they know when I'm at the end of my rope- there was no complaining.
So back to the basement- this is the next mixed media piece I thought I'd try.  Its not finished but I wanted to share with you.  I've taken to driving around staring into the ditches for certain grasses and weeds.  FYI- the grasses are taller than they appear and you should wear pants to do this...   I've brought home quite a few extra friends with me and probably have several more in the car.  I'll do a lot for art but if I find a big hairy spider on my leg I will scream bloody murder and dance around.
I'm calling this series of work- A Long Road Home.  (By the way!!!!!  I sold the first one and have a commission to do another of the same!  Am I officially an artist yet???) 

Why this name?  Well, I've always felt I wasn't really "from Michigan" because I wasn't born here.  Don't you have to be born somewhere to be from there?  And the town I lived in growing up was very small and everyone was born there- so I imagined, anyways.  My Mom was 'from New York' where she was born.  My father was born in the area.  I was born in Minnesota but can't remember a thing about it because my father was stationed in California soon after I was born.  Yep, for a short while I was a Navy brat. 
Its silly to feel like I'm not 'from there' as I have lived in Michigan since second grade.  I know this.  And Michigan will always be 'home'.  As an adult my immediate family and I moved to a larger city and I really like it here.  I get bored easily and here I have the ability to entertain myself.  I have decided that I really never should live more than 25 miles from a book store or art supply store ever again.

In this series ("series" cuz I can tell that I am a long way from being done with these) 'home' is a state of mind.  We all see things in nature that remind us of home.  A certain kind of tree or a grouping of trees and the way they grow.  A wide open field.  A sunset dropping into the horizon.  ( I try not to look at those while driving- you can miss certain the road ending....I'm just saying...)

I also imagine that coming home can mean a return to one's authentic self.  We can get so lost in who others want us to be, tell us to be.  We can try to be someone else living a life that looks a certain way.  But sooner or later if this life doesn't fit we find ourselves in an unsatisfied, unhappy state.  I describe that feeling as 'itchy'.  Something not right about you and wishing you could jump in the shower and wash it away.  But I know for some its a deeper more profound sadness.  I, myself, have been way off course for a long time.

A journey is documented by markers.  Like this...

              I came this far and paused.  I could see the next place that I want to be on the horizon  and in just a little bit I will continue on.  But for now, I need to be here just a little longer. 

 That's what this piece feels like to me.  A place I stopped to look around and take stock of my life and surrounding.

Wow.  I'm so deep in the morning.  I should get up early more often!


  1. I love this painting and the thoughts behind it. I think you ARE an artist :) I feel like home is Washington-but I doubt I'll ever move there. It calls to my heart though :)

  2. Thanks so much, Kim. Home does call to the heart, doesn't it? The 'painting' is not fully a painting. I arranged and glued dried grasses to the canvas and am painting them into the background. So I guess its mixed media or 'relief' work? I don't know, but its very cool to see all the texture and it really lets me play around with color. Having fun!

  3. Hey, I gave you an award on my blog in case you're looking for blog fodder.

    1. ooooh! Will be right over to pick it up! Ok, right after play dates and all this damn homemaker stuff!!

  4. I love this post. The art (series) your words and thoughts - everything. And it is so true. I was also born in Minnesota, but moved to OK when I wasn't even two. People ask me a lot where I'm from (I guess I don't look like an Okie) and I can almost never say OK because even though the only memory I have of MN is from pictures and one time when Funny threw me in 3 feet of snow (I assume I can remember that out of sheer terror alone). OK feels more like home with my husband and family here, but I feel like a big part of me is in MN. However, the picture you made just reminds me of my childhood because we lived in the country for a few years and running through that tall grass with the heat and the bugs flying out around you as you ran were just part of it all. I can still smell and feel it. And I think that picture is amazing, and am glad you are calling it a series because I want to see more and more of it!

  5. Oh, and I gave you an award on my blog. It'll be on there tomorrow!

  6. Hey! I tagged you again. Don't kill me!


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