After many months of creating small abstract landscapes in ink, I decided to try a larger one. Working with the inks on a large surface was delicious. I am certain to do it again. The graphic impact of a larger piece pleases me, and aquabord is my favorite substrate. So big aquabord is even more magical!
This weekend we took a trip to visit my dad, who is recovered from heart surgery and living in his own home once more. He has turned his home into a juicy gallery of his vibrant art - a bachelor pad of swirling color and wall-to-wall paintings. This is a complete transformation from its former look, with many fewer paintings. mostly sedate in soft pastels. It suits his personality perfectly now, and it is a visual smorgasbord of color for visitors.
A year after my mom's passing, dad has finally opened up the exterior building which housed her art supplies (she was a life-long artist) and has begun adding her tools to his. He invited me to peruse her stash and nab some pieces for myself. If you can imagine wall-to-wall shelves, closets, cupboards and boxes, you have some idea of how long my mom created art and how many different mediums she played with. I found pastels, watercolors, oils, acrylics, stained glass, embossing tools, seed beads, quilt supplies, collage materials, knitting, sewing, sketching, sumi brushes and inks, india inks and many things I didn't even recognize. It was overwhelming. So I picked out a small stack of things I knew I would use now (stamps, books, inks, brushes, paper) and showed it to my dad in the main house.
Here is where the fun began. My dad, thinking he was ready to part with a bit of my mom's things, was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion. I could see he didn't really want to part with even one of the 850 million things in that building. So I suggested the stack was perhaps things he might want to use in his art and keep near him. With an herculean effort, he paused, then suggested we take turns picking from the stack. In a 45 minute exchange which resembled kids after trick-or-treating, we began alternately choosing items. Then the rule creating began: if things were high value, he would automatically have first dibs. If you moved an item near your stack, you had to take it and couldn't change your mind. If you touched it too many times in deciding, you had to pick it. You get the idea. It was the most hilarious exchange of art supplies, super competitive and high tension like the most intense of chess games, except we kept verbalizing our strategies as we went along. My husband moderated this exchange with a good hearted smile.