Childhood, and memories of it have made a huge impact on my concepts of design and art work. Here’s a glimpse of how they’ve generated inspiration in my current paintings……
As a child my grandfather took me to Maine. We would stay in small cabins in the woods at Boothbay Harbor. A dinner bell would ring each evening, welcoming guests to enjoy homestyle cooking, around a large farm house table. As I ran from my cabin, the simple screen door slamming behind me, I would take in the sights and sounds of the environment. The crunching of the pine needles beneath my dime store flip flops, invoking a subtle yet “oh so sweet” smell; the fiddle bow shaped ferns growing along side the shadowed cabins, serenading me as they stretched and grew from the earth; each wonders in themselves for a small town Ohio girl……The sound of the water lapping Maine’s rocky edges: Peace….I had found peace. The simple complexity of the textured Maine tides and the lulling of the waves rocked my soul into a gentle, consistent, meditative state of calm at a mere age 9.
The homestyle meals prepared by the lodge owners close knit family and the feel of the linen grain sack napkins between my fingers taught me resourcefulness along with a wonder and appreciation for textiles. Waiting to be seated before I could savor the homemade cornbread, and local honey, taught me patience and a love for the visual aesthetic of the stoneware vessels in which the foods were contained. The trip became a mental filing cabinet in my brain, all neatly being tucked away, compartmentalized if you will, for my creative journey in life.
Robert McCloskey famous for his writing, and beautiful illustrations wrote one of my all time favorite books, “Blueberries For Sal”. So often I recall my mother quoting, “Kerplink, kerplank, kerplunk”, from the book. Remember “Make Way for Ducklings” and “One Morning In Maine”; also by this author? McClosky grew up in Hamilton Ohio, a mere 20 minutes by car from my childhood home. My example, his inspiration, his stories and illustrations can be seen as a glimpse into his creative soul.
Through the years I would stumble upon a photo of a lighthouse and my heart would leap. Like a high-school crush:” Can this be a photo from Pemaquid Point in Maine?” All of the sights, sounds would come flooding back; the metal filling cabinet being opened and searched. As I traveled to exotic places near and far, still collecting, filling these images and thoughts, tucking them away, in the anticipation of them being pulled out and shared another day. Maine, the ocean, tides, sounds ,images of old seamen in yellow, the lobster traps, sailors knots, sailcloth, buoys, local artists, lighthouses, driftwood….all advocates of New england beauty.
Such simple journeys can make a huge impact on ones life, and for us visual folks, well, it is the air we breathe…..Find your inspiration, search your mental filing cabinets, with images tucked far away in the corners of your mind, dust them off, use them to create stunning works. Look, we’d all love to share in your creative journey too; your joy, your peace, what makes you, you. It is the savor of life……I thought these ideas would be a fitting prelude to a few pieces of my work; Maybe deepen appreciation of materials used and why…….driftwood.