Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Women Before Me

I've been collecting vintage photos for sometime now.  At first, like many, I was drawn to sweet images of children.  But lately, I've gravitated to interesting images of women - particularly those with unusual clothing, accessories or backgrounds.  Most of the women are pretty, or at least handsome, though not all.  Some are portraits of the women alone, but many are posed with their families and friends beside them.

As I was searching through my collection looking for just the right image for some art I've been working on, I started thinking of the women in my own family and how each one of them contributed to the woman I am today.  I knew intimately the four generations of women who preceded me on my mother's side.  We lived within blocks of my grandparents and great-grandmother.  My mother's sisters lived not much farther away.  And so these women touched my life on nearly a daily basis.

Even my great-great-grandmother was a part of my life, though she had passed many years before I was born.  My family was a family of storytellers (most of them true and un-embellished, though I suspect not all) who instilled in me the essence of those who had came before: their hopes and dreams, struggles and accomplishments, values and beliefs. And so those women became a part of who I am, what I dream about, struggle toward, value and believe.  Their images are my image - my mother's complexion and love of art, my grandmother's quick wit and deep brunette hair, great-grandmother's sense of fun, love of big hats and gardens, and great-great's quiet introspection, strength and love of needlework.

As I head to my studio these women will be there with me - looking at other women peering out of sepia colored photos, choosing paint and embellishments, telling a new story of my own.

Four generations before me.

Great-great grandmother - Martha Moore

Great-grandmother Nellie Brewer

Grandmother - Laverne Dew

My mother - Helen Jayne as a young girl.

Here are some photos, that I recently fell in love with, of women I've never known:


Friday, March 5, 2010

Fading Glory

For Christmas, I planted a vintage enameled wash pan with paper whites and amaryllis, covered the soil with sheet moss and tucked in a couple bright red cardinals to sit amidst the flora.  Sitting in front of the picture window in my foyer, the effect was sweet.  And because things didn't bloom all at once, I enjoyed it long after the holidays had passed.  As the last blossoms faded, I knew I should replace the winter bulbs with something new to herald in the spring.  But busy days have left it neglected and waiting, much like the snow covered gardens just outside the window.

Tonight while I was fixing dinner (a rare occurrence, I'm sorry to say) I happen to glance over and catch this beautiful silhouette cast upon the wall.  For once my camera was nearby and so I was able to capture the image to share with you, dear friends.  The vine across the top of the image is cedar rope, also put up for Christmas, strung along the porch eves.  If the weather had been better over the last few months it probably would have been gone.  Now I'm happy its still there.

Also, here are a few pictures, though not nearly as artistic, of my booth.  I still have more work to do -- but its a start anyway.

P.S.  I'm still struggling with my photo program and unable to load scanned images, but I'm still working on it and hope you'll bear with me.  Sweet dreams my friends, Susan

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Houston, We Have A Problem

Just a quick post to let you know that I'm experiencing "technical difficulties."  In other words this darn equipment is giving me fits!  As soon as I can figure out why my photos won't load (I think I need to uninstall then reinstall some software, UGH!) I'll be back with pictures of my antique booth all set-up.  And, the post I was intending to leave tonight, Women of a Certain Age.