"The Sketchbook Project". Each participant is given a Moleskin, sketchbook journal (we paid $20 for the journal) and a topic. The journals from all over the world will be cataloged in the Brooklyn, N.Y. library. People will be able to check them out and make comments which will be sent back to the artist/author. But, before they end up in the library they will go on tour and one of the major cities they will make at stop at is Chicago. My topic was Dirigibles and Submergibles. I choose to journal and collage the relationship between my mother and myself.
Relations vary and mothers can be a goddess at times or an out of touch creature from another planet at other times. We can be filled with passion and love for her or hate and pain. Then, some of us become mothers ourselves and only then can we understand what our own moms went through.
That's my mom and I on the cover. I had just gotten my first tricycle. She is now 92 years old and I have taken over the role as "parent" for both parents (my dad is 97!) She worries and frets and depression has always snuck in and out of her life. Now that she is in her 90's it has returned and drifts in and out of her days. She loves life too much and is just plain MAD that she cannot do what she used to do. She's survived double pnemonia and a broken hip and still lives at home with my father. Stubborn, not ready to lay down and give up yet. The only medication she takes are pills for her anxiety.
There is another side of her and I saw this side a lot more. She was bold and brave, going on vacations with her girlfriends when that wasn't such a common thing to do. She even went to Cuba in a time when that was not the smart thing to do. She was "Betty Boop dangerous" in her pinup pictures, high heel pumps and red lipstick. She dated many soldiers during the war, much to the unapproval of her sisters. And I do see glimmers of that young beautiful woman from time to time. She still insists on putting lipstick on and this Thanksgiving made our turkey dressed in a pink flowered house dress and her pearl earrings.
I love what I took from her - her gypsy sense of style, her "don't ever let a man walk all over you attitude", the eclectic way her house looks, that she likes her toenails and nails painted, her love of food and eating (well, that has been a curse as well)... have all been the seeds that have made me such a creative girl.
I found some really wonderful old photos that I will share with you in my next post. They are so fun to look at and will give you a sense of who she really is.
Thanks mom. This sketchbook is for you and I, our ups and downs, our struggles and victories. Let's take it a day at a time...