Two months ago today, my lovely Aunt Grey (on the left) passed away. A second mother to me, she was also a very close and special sister and friend to my wonderful mother (right), who was the baby sister in a family of five children raised in rural southern Alabama, where my parents, one remaining aunt and a host of relatives and friends are braving tropical storm Fay to attend her interment. I so wish I could be there, but having children in school prevented us from making the trip.
A few days after she passed, I needed to channel my grief at the art table, blend it with memory, layer with love and hope and as with all life situations, try to create beauty from pain. I am a member of Paper Imagery Designs had at the time the weekly challenge was black and white, which was how I started the project, though I soon realized my desire to create something to honor the love and kinship that exists in my family.
I have never tried to work in black and white before, aside from photography, and at first found it very challenging. The call for black and white entries at Somerset had been published too, but I don't feel quite up to that level; it was, however, a good incentive to continue the exploring blacks, whites, grays and the multitude of shades in between. As I layered paints over gesso, pressed in lace and scraps and other bits into the background, I started seeing the possibilities.
Both women were lifelong seamstresses - my mom still helps me with complicated alterations. She made clothes for my dolls when I was a girl, along with the Easter dresses for the three of us girls - I can't even find time to sew buttons on, unless it's on paper!! So I have been collecting bias tape, trims, buttons and fabrics from both their stashes for quite some time. The domino was my daughter's brilliant idea, the dots represent the nine years between my aunt and mother's age. Nearly every element has significance, and I worry that it's a bit fussy, busy maybe, but I always have trouble figuring out when a project is 'finished.' I have since threaded wire across the top and added a couple of charms and buttons there too, and it's in a shadow box.