Monday, May 23, 2011

Memory & Reflections

Walt Whitman once said. " Poetry begins with the self ". The American Artist , Eric Fischl stated, " I paint to tell myself about myself. "
It has also been said, that the photograph can be a window or a mirror.
I believe all art regardless of what the medium, it begins with the self.

Learning about myself, about others, and about the God of my understanding has been the constant in my life. Journaling has helped me to do this, and has been an essential part of my life for over 3o years. The daily habit of long hand writing has greatly informed my art practice and my creative journey. It has provided me time for reflection, introspection that is both meditation and a prayer.
I love the process of writing long hand and I know it is very beneficial in ways I don't completely understand, but I know I have to continue the process daily to really benefit.
Journaling has seen me through the death of my young husband , my parents and my only big brother. The writings have been joyful, sad, healing, strengthening, life changing, empowering and even amusing upon reflection over the years. Mostly they have helped me to be a better person and an artist.
These photos I have posted are the completion of the small booklet I did as my final portfolio project for two of my classes, Photography and Open Media. They are a collection of photos containing my own journals and entries along with photos of my late husband's writing that no one, other than me had seen. The photos of my portrait of my late husband Bill, consist of the actual egg tempera painting and a distorted photo shop version which is my representation of the distortion of his personality, which was the result of his drug induced paranoid schizophrenia that he suffered from, that inevitably took his life, at 26 years of age. I was 27 and we had been married for a short 4 months. I was in my last year of my BFA, in University, at NSCAD. I did not return to school after this life changing event, and never returned to finish my degree until recently at the age of 57. I am grateful to I have come full circle.

I have realized a number of things during the process of completing this project, some I'm sure, I am not aware of, on a conscious level.

Firstly, I know I had not really grieved this great loss of the love of my life, and this project gave me an outlet to help me through this process. I gave myself permission to do so.

Secondly, thirty years of writing has given me a great gift of material to develop and incorporate into my art work.

I love the process of making books, book binding and want to continue into my fourth year studio work.

Lastly and this may be the most significant part. I am blessed to have wonderful, kind talented and gifted teachers who are not just my mentors, but they are also my good friends. I want to publicly say, thank you, to them all, and I especially say thank you to my late husband, soul mate and best friend Bill Hackett, who taught me about faith, hope and love.

Bill loved the Lord, life, people, and especially loved writing and writers. The last photo, of the quote from Henry David Thoreau, whom Bill loved, truly lived by this quote. It is a poster I have, that belonged to Bill and it hangs in the mud room, where I can see it every day as I come and go from my home.


Betsy Grant said...

I love the quote at the bottom of your post. It expresses(in part)the way of the artist. Thank you for sharing your story.

Unknown said...

Betsy, Bill's favourite writer was Thoreau. I agree it does truly express the way of the artist. Thank you for reading <3