I like leftovers, especially those remaining after a dinner party. There’s usually some delicacy I will get to enjoy one more time, either in its original state or in an altered form. I also like the leftover flowers and snippets of conversations I’m left to ponder. Last night’s gathering for my husband’s birthday has provided me with a bit of each.
I’ve been working with some other leftovers recently, scraps from my spring trip to Amsterdam. Today, I decided to mix some of last evening’s leavings with some of my scrappy creations—a simple salutation to what has been a lovely spring.
“Make art from this.” Those were the words typed in the subject line of my eldest son’s email. I was honored, but a bit intimidated by his request for an art piece that would reference the material he had forwarded to me—a speech President Nixon was to deliver if the 1969 Apollo 11 Mission had failed. While I was not familiar with this “contingency” address, his subject line was a reiteration of the words he’d previously used when he presented me with assortment of bottle caps. It seemed his artistic challenge was, at last, complete.
Like most of my work, this piece contains a multitude of elements—references to the speech, bits and pieces from our family farm, one of the bottle caps, and some collectible stamps I came upon quite by accident. Stylistically, it is inspired by the collage work of Clare Goddard, an English artist I discovered during a trip to Seattle last year.
While my works employ conscious efforts, they also seem to call upon my unconscious as well. For example, when I selected the bottle cap, I was thinking of astronauts, space exploration, and the blue tones in my son and daughter-in-law’s apartment décor. It was only after I retrieved the piece from the framer that I remembered my son had been born during a “blue moon”-- a bit of information I’d received from one of the nurses present at his birth.
I have plans to deliver “Blue Moon” to my son in the upcoming month. I hope he likes it, but I’ve already told him, if he doesn’t, to feel free to give it a bit of closet space. This suggestion may sound strange, but this creative experience has been more about the process than the product. I will always treasure my son’s kind request, the conversations and emails we shared as I worked on the piece, and the memories that arose upon its completion. Therein, I sense the true art.
I’ve always enjoyed gifting my work and encouraging others’ creative abilities. One of my little projects, currently included in Somerset Life’s spring edition, brought about their blending. My project included two small kits created to foster the talents of others. One, an art tin, was recently given to a dear friend of mine. I was thrilled to hear, yesterday, that she has an artistic endeavor underway.
To expand upon this creative initiative, I’ve decided to conduct a little “spring day” giveaway. This idea came to mind when I saw how many Somerset Place readers cited Somerset Life as the magazine they wished to acquire if selected for the blog’s promotional giveaway. I thought I could extend the imaginative fun by offering a copy of the publication’s spring issue via my site. This edition features a number of creative ideas—Jennifer Taylor’s versatile painted pallet, Tricia Johnson’s perfect packaging, and Johanna Love’s dressy desk idea, just to name a few.
If you would like to be entered into my little giveaway*, please leave a comment citing why you would like to obtain the magazine. The deadline for participating is June 15. A recipient will be randomly selected from the proverbial “hat” and mailing arrangements made.
*Unfortunately, only U.S. mailing addresses may be accepted at this time.
Images: Somerset Life Spring 2015 Copyright © 2015 Stampington & Company, LLC