a painting story
When I look at one of my paintings from an earlier time, there's rarely an actual memory of painting it. In terms of technique, or the intentions and development of the work, it might just as well have been painted by someone else. But often I do have a memory or association with a particular time in my life, and the situation in which the painting was done. This painting, Of Dreams and Circumstance (1986)
, takes me back to the time of my first pregnancy--the intense colors and the swirling composition relate to the surreal feeling, the excitement (and yes, the nausea) of early pregnancy. The small red heart in the upper right quadrant may or may not have been intentional, but seems now very meaningful.
A few months ago my older son called me to ask about this painting. He had seen it on my blog
of older works and realized from the date and the medium that it must have been done while I was carrying him. (It's acrylic, which I used while pregnant, in order to avoid the toxicity of oils.) He loved the colors, the depth, and the heart. He's home for the holidays now and yesterday I hauled this out from the back of my studio so he could see it, and I gave it to him. It pleased me very much to do so. It's really too big (55"x60") for him to deal with in his present living situation--student housing--but he asked me to save it for him until he has a place for it.
This all strikes me as a most perfect flow of creativity--a painting done during pregnancy (a truly creative state)...years later recognized and appreciated by--and now given to--the well-loved person who inspired it to be.