J. took some photographs of me working in the studio for my shop's "About Page" slideshow. They make such a difference, and the toned black-and-white photography is simply gorgeous. Thank you, love.
Yesterday I went through many flat file drawers, looking at old work, throwing some things out, taking photographs, even cutting some watercolor paintings apart when there was part worth saving and part not. It felt good to "clean house," but it also took me back to where, and who, I was when I made those pieces.
I click the shutter
on my old paintings and find
myself in the lens.
I'm glad I don't have to go back in reality! I was so confused and unsure about many things. There's always been great value for me in looking back at old writing, old letters, old blog posts, old art: not dwelling on it, but taking a look, and reflecting on what's changed. I found this painting from the late 1980s and put it up for sale. Today I wouldn't do the same scene the same way, but I still like it. (This photograph is a little too dark and contrasty.)
More than that, the painting reminded me of exactly how I felt the first time I walked onto this beach in Maine. We were with close friends who had a little baby, their first. He's thirty years old now! What I remember best is how protective and concerned about him his parents were during those days. The two women, T. and I, had discovered this beach, and went home and made a beautiful picnic. We bought some salmon, and had our husbands haul a grill down to the beach in the evening as the sun went down. After we got there and had put the fish on the fire, we were attacked by vicious giant mosquitoes. We were all worried about the baby, but when we saw that mosquitoes had landed on the salmon, on the grill, we realized it was time to get out of there! The next day, windy and clear, they had vanished, and I walked up and down on the sand in freedom all afternoon.
I wonder now -- if I hadn't taken photogrpahs or made sketches and paintings, would I remember all of this so well? I doubt it. I wasn't keeping a journal that summer, but those of us who have a journaling instinct are probably doomed, or blessed, never to forget our past.