September 11, 2013

30x30x30: Landmark

I’ve been feeling sad today. Needless to say, 9/11 has something to do with that. I actually had an idea for some artwork related to that, but I didn’t do it. I generally avoid saying or doing anything related to 9/11 to protect Jason. He worked in Lower Manhattan at the time, and it changed his life. He’s purposefully avoidant of it though – doesn’t like to talk about what happened, won’t go on Facebook since everyone posts about it, and just seems to steer clear of it. I don’t know how much of his way of dealing with it is related to him just being him, and how much of it is related to him having worked a couple of blocks away, and how that affected him. I check in with him in case he does decide he wants to talk, and to make sure he’s ok, but otherwise I leave it alone. Everyone deals with its affects in a way that suits them, and I don’t want to push him on it. So I didn’t make the artwork I was thinking about because he’d likely see me making it, and that seemed like a potential imposition on the space he needs. As long as wants to steer clear, I will clear the path ahead of him.

I’m also sad because of the issues related to my father that I posted about yesterday. Today, I spent hours trying to find and schedule a moving company to move the furniture from the storage unit in Texas to our house in New Jersey, which made for a rather unpleasant afternoon. I got one estimate for $7000, which was just the cost of the travel time without the actual moving/labor costs. When the guy on the phone said that, I think I offended him with my rather unladylike reflex response. I’ve since gotten additional, much more reasonable estimates, but going through websites to read reviews, and find some measure of assurance that whatever company I hire isn’t going to screw us over and/or destroy furniture that has a lot of sentimental value is tiresome and annoying. Getting inundated with calls from salespeople is also my own private hell because I hate salespeople and I hate talking on the phone. Taking care of this is something that has to be done though, and I’m doing it, just like I’ve done almost everything else to settle matters related to his death, but it’s draining.

In lieu of making 9/11-themed artwok, for today’s installment of 30x30x30, I wanted to respond to my blah mood. As I mentioned last week, I like tree imagery, and a tree felt like the right thing to make, for a bunch of reasons, including that its familiarity as an image that I enjoy creating and recreating is comforting. Also, trees can be landmarks, and can help people navigate through unfamiliar territory.

Day 11 - 30x30x30

Day 11 – 30x30x30

September 10, 2013

30x30x30: Reminders

I was looking at my site stats this morning, and saw that someone had been to an old post, Cracked Veneer. I recognized the title, but couldn’t recall what it was about, so I clicked. There are always old posts listed in the stats that people have happened upon, and I never take particular notice or click, so I don’t know why I noticed or clicked today. You can read the post for yourself if you like, but the synopsis is that I had a complete blubbering meltdown at the FedEx office because I needed a witness to sign a form related to resolving my father’s estate after he committed suicide in 2010.

He’s been on my mind lately because in a couple of weeks, I’m tentatively planning to drive to Texas to finally clear out the storage unit where the last of his belongings have been locked up for the last 3 1/2 years. Over the course of three car trips I made during the year after his death, I managed to bring back all the smaller stuff that had been packed in boxes. The furniture is all that remains. There isn’t much – his bedroom set, and my great-grandmother’s antique dining room set. It’s the stuff I kept for its high sentimental value. For the last three years, we’ve delayed and debated whether to hire movers or do it ourselves, but we finally settled on using movers. I need to go down there, coordinate that, and close out the storage unit account.

After already having a lot of mixed, complicated feelings about this whole moving thing, completing this last phase of settling all the practical issues related to his death, and the somewhat disorienting prospect of having his furniture in my house, I lost it when I read that old post this morning. It all feels raw. Really raw. Like the veneer is cracking again.

This evening, I saw someone posted that today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I knew that, but had forgotten – the way you know it’s a birthday or anniversary, but you forget until someone is like, hey, today is blah-blah day. Then you’re like, oh, right, I totally knew that, but it didn’t occur to me. Perhaps my subconscious sent me clicking to that old blog post this morning to remind my conscious mind of something it didn’t want to recognize.

I have a million swirling, knotted thoughts, but I don’t really have words to put all this together anymore than what I’ve shared here. Thankfully, 30x30x30 compelled me to make art, and although my trip to Texas will linger into October, most of it will be in September, so 30x30x30 will accompany me for most of the way. I’m a little concerned about getting art done on my driving days – two 12-hour days behind the wheel, each way – but based on how I felt today, I think I’m going to need this.

 

Who told you that one paints with colors? One makes use of colors, but one paints with emotions.
~Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin

 

Day 10 - 30x30x30 - Everywhere

Day 10 – 30x30x30 – Everywhere

 

Day 10 - 30x30x30 - Spilled

Day 10 – 30x30x30 – Spilled

 

2013 World Suicide Prevention Day

2013 World Suicide Prevention Day

September 4, 2013

30x30x30: Day 4

Filed under: Creative Expression,Friends & Family — Tags: , — Lee Ann @ 10:18 pm

Back in August, my sister-in-law and her family were in town, and Jason and I had the pleasure of babysitting our 5-year old niece and 19-month old nephew. My niece likes to introduce herself as an artist, so I was super excited to do an art project with her. I decided to do produce prints – fruits and veggies, cut in half, and a few custom-cut potato stamps, dipped in craft paint, and printed on paper. Naturally, we made the most splendid mess.

Aunt Lee Lee's Art Camp

Aunt Lee Lee’s Art Camp

Today’s 30x30x30 artwork was inspired by the fun evening of painting with my niece. The craft paints and plates we used to dip the fruits and veggies in paint are still in a pile in the basement because I’m terrible about cleaning up messes, so I spread those out on the table, and instead of fruits and veggies, I sifted through my box of fiber supplies for something interestingly textured. I ended up dragging a couple of pieces of raffia dipped in red and white paint to make lines up and down the paper. Then I cut a circular shape from some lightly textured fabric, and used that as a stamp to apply black paint. It wasn’t as fun as making art with my niece, but I still enjoyed making a mess. Although, it might go without saying that I always enjoy making a mess.

Day 4 - 30x30x30

Day 4 – 30x30x30

December 18, 2012

Talking to No One

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January 11, 2012

Two Years

Filed under: Friends & Family — Tags: — Lee Ann @ 2:27 pm

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