Thoughts in April 2013

OK, well here goes.

I became a grandma this last week. I also painted a window for Mother’s day at Quality Foods in Campbell River. This work is more of a commercial art genre; however the same basic values underlie all my art. The process of communication is paramount even if the context of communication varies.

The beauty of these seasonal vignettes on grocery store windows is that I have a lot of leeway in how I present the concept. The store wants the customer to know that a particular holiday or celebrative day is imminent, so that they can buy flowers for mother, or stock up on goodies for the upcoming feast etc..

I am left to depict the occasion in whichever way I see fit providing it is presented in a positive light. The most recent, today’s job was a mother’s day window. Following close on the heels of my grandson’s arrival, I had photos of the new mom and dad holding baby while gazing in rapt wonder at his little face.

I painted from my cell phone image gallery, transitioning the composition to suit the medium of poster paint on glass as I went. The result was surprisingly fresh. I was not repeating a hackneyed cliché of mother and child, but reliving a very special personal moment as I painted. I still haven’t figured out what the mechanism is, but the emotions I feel at the time of painting manifest themselves as I paint.

This makes a great visual for mother’s day. I get to “talk” about what I consider important in this very commercialized “celebration day”; love for your kids, support for mother from her partner, the celebration of a new family member. The image does not play to what you should spend or buy or how the day could be commercialized; it leaves the viewer to ponder on the essence of being a mother.

So, just a simple little picture on a grocery store window, that will be erased in a couple of weeks, but I wonder how many little images in odd places can change the way people think about the icons of the culture we live in.

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