Do Your Older Artworks Invoke Memories?
I’m a photo album person. I actually send my photo files to be printed out and I place them in albums in chronological order. I also have a themed album for each of my children, chronicling their first year. Apparently, no one does physical albums anymore and my dedication to remaining “analogue” with my photos is eye-roll worthy or endearing, depending on the audience. To me, those images are memories. I like being at to look at a physical book with a cup of coffee rather than just scrolling through a folder on a laptop.
Do people no longer collect physical things? Photos, trinkets, and mementos of times gone by? Perhaps I am simply more tactile in my nostalgia.
This little cabin by the water scene is one of my first acrylic paintings. I did it in 1997. I don’t think of times at a cabin or the lake when I see this painting. I remember the weeks of my life when I was painting it.
I had it in the car when a tractor pulled onto the road and I crashed my vehicle. I remember sitting in my mothers musty basement gluing the giant tear in the center of the canvas back together. I painstakingly tried to correct the impairment on the front, but you can see the finish variation in the paint. For some reason the fixed areas of paint have a glossier sheen.
I remember boyfriend troubles during that time. I remember packing up my trunk to head back to college. I recall an art show that painting placed in, and consoling a friend about her disappointment in her own work shown.
I remember there was snow on the ground when I started painting it.
I remember using nine colors of acrylic in a single wood plank on the cabin roof.
I remember my mother announcing she was pregnant with my brother and feeling surprised since we would be 20 years apart in age.
I remember snickering while painting the little man in the window.
That painting is like a photo album in itself. It represents an entire era in my life. It has spent 20 years sitting in a steamer trunk wrapped in an Ecuadorian wool sweater that smells like incense.(Another relic of my past.)
I keep the photo albums out in the open, to be used and enjoyed. I think it is time to pull out this dinged, dented impressionism on its torn canvas, and let it be enjoyed as well. It deserves a place on my studio wall. It is very flawed, BUT……It represents a beginning.
A new chapter into adulthood that I didn’t appreciate at the time. I never appreciated this humble little canvas either. But it’s not too late. It’s never too late to start appreciating something and enjoying the memories.