Monday, May 10, 2010

How it all started...

My first forays into making art allowed me an opportunity to find a new voice with my family that I hadn’t experienced before. In communicating with them about my memories from an earlier time with them, and by highlighting and capturing our good times from my perspective, it allowed me for the first time, to really express my love for them in a way that I felt they could really hear me. I wanted to engage with each of them in an intensely personal manner to express my deep love for each them. This, and what I soon realized was a form of stress management, was the initial purpose for my artistic creations.

Here are some of the things that I recall doing in this effort:

• I made each of my nieces, when they were still babies ABC books using photos, stamped images and stickers of items - A through Z. I used photos of me in A is for Aunt Lynn, L is for Lynn, and S is for someone who loves you. The books were filled with familiar examples of how the alphabet and these people and items were part of their lives.

• I made my sister a tiny covered 18-page accordion fold book, documenting those very special moments between sisters that we will never forget. Most, funny to us, but surely tender and intensely personal details that came from my heart.

• I was having a very difficult time communicating with my father earlier in my adulthood, and at that time,  I designed a couple of books for him. This was a small accordion style book, featuring my clearest childhood memories of funny things that had happened between us or within our family.  These memories ranged from commentary on my driving lessons, to the time he put a tiny bit of cooked hamburger on his nose for the kitten,  resulting in a nip none of us will ever forget.  These were the memories that both my sister and I found wildly hilarious as children.   These events had become family stories that had amused all of us time and again.  And whether it was true or not, I felt that my artistic efforts directed toward my father made something different in our relationship and I began to heal.  I have understood since then that there really is something therapeutic is art for adults as well as children.

There are just a few of  the projects I worked on. When I look back now, I wonder if I somehow lacked  my own true voice during times of deep emotions.  It seems more and more clear to me that my artistic expressions allowed me to communicate with my family better, and allowed us to truly bond as family also.

More to come... :)

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