Thursday, February 07, 2013

Angels to Watch Over Us - Faith, Hope, Love

Several months ago my daughter Kelly sent me a message telling me about the sister-in-law of one of her friends.  The woman is a single mother with leukemia.  The family was planning a fundraiser to help with the medical costs and Kelly asked me if I might donate a piece of art.

I didn’t hesitate, but I usually give or sell my art right away and don’t really have a stash of readymade items, except my son James would say I have the dogs in a corner…that is another story.
I wasn’t sure what to make, what it should look like, or how it should make you feel.  I found a piece of a pine board which makes a wonderful base because it is lightweight but has so many possibilities, like drilling through it, or hammering things into it.

A coat of gesso front and back, and then I tore anaglyptic paper into random pieces and glued them to the back.  I found some fabric with lots of texture and glued it down then covered over it with more gesso.  Stencils, paint, spackle, glue, more paper, more gesso, and so the process goes.

No matter what color scheme I tried out, the white gesso seemed to pull me back, so I choose several shades of white and painted the whole thing.  I choose a soft grey, a dark graphite, and lamp black to accent the white because almost nothing is ever just black and white.  Then I needed to find the embellishments.  I dug through drawers, bins, and cubbies pulling everything that spoke to me, although where I start on a project is not always where I end up.

I played with laying pieces on the base and arranging them and rearranging them.  The pile of discards was growing and my pile of ideas was dwindling.  I dug into another cabinet and pulled out boxes of art supplies I had not used since I taught art to the girls at GRADS, and bags of bargains so cheap you cannot pass them up at the store and then you forget you have them.

I took a break from the 3D part of the art and began searching my stash of photographs, magazine clippings, advertisements, and so on and so forth.  I found a print of an angel that spoke to me but changed it from color to black and white and printed it on heavy plastic.

When you are sick it is hard to see the positive, and harder still for those around you to see it even though they are telling you everything is going to be okay.  This piece of art needed to be positive, about faith, love and hope.  I used 3D letters to spell these words and mounted them on glass attached to the art piece and added nails and tacks to represent the hardship.

I drilled holes through the wood and used armature wire to hang the art piece, twisting the ends to become part of the art piece.

I had to step back for several days, as I always do, and just look at what I am working on.  If I can look at it and walk away each time, it is done; otherwise I find myself changing, adding, tweaking, until I can walk away day after day.

The piece was finished with five days to spare before it needed to be in the mail to make the auction and fundraiser.  I received a very nice thank you from the brother of this woman when it arrived and after the auction I received a beautiful handwritten thank you from the recipient of the benefit.  This was such a blessing to receive a thank you not from someone going through so much.
The following is a poem written for this piece of art and attached to the back of it.

Angels to watch over us
When we lose our way
When darkness closes in
When black and white turn grey
We search
Trying to accept
What is true
What is right
Wheres the justice
Our faith within
Small as a mustard seed
To believe
Accepting what is genuine
What is true
New beginnings
New hope
Sent from up above
Angels watching over us
They never leave our side

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