I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell –
my designs sell out!

Friday, October 2, 2015

"Ink"

I love the drag of ink on paper.  I especially like ballpoint pens on newsprint.  I used to "correct" people's faces in the newspaper so I could indulge in the rich feel of that inky experience.  Sometimes I put makeup on people or changed their hairstyles.  Sometimes I turned them into monsters.

I remember this so vividly, the smell of the paper, the ink, the light coming through the living room window, the feel of the splintery pine floor... Memory is a strange thing, and I've been spending a lot of my time in it this week, painting a map of my childhood.

I'm amazed how many memories are vivid in my mind.  I can tell you the name of the horse that lived on the corner 40+ years ago.  Buck, which is also the name of my nephews' great uncle, and whom I met once about 30 years ago.  All of my senses remember details too small to be important for long-term memory, but they're there*.

For you young'uns who know the Glen, this is the map of my childhood, not the present.  I included houses that were built while I lived there, even though part of me wants to wipe out about 10 of them.  In my youngest years, our house was the only one on our side of the street, and the Turk's property was an overgrown lot with a row of bee hives.  I used the county property map and satellite photos, so it's as accurate as I can make it.

For those of you who don't know the Glen, plain rectangles of 2 and 3 acre lots might make you think that the land was open.  It wasn't.  The Glen is richly treed.  Everything on the other side of the river was miles of untouched forest, and our side of the river was closed off from the world by a giant hill and cliffs.

It was a clannish neighborhood of regular and crazy people, recluses, criminals, and artists -- and something I know to the bottom of my soul is that I belonged.  There were people who loved me or hated me, or who were totally apathetic to my existence, but they were my people, and I was as much a part of that landscape as the giant oak tree.

I have thought about my writing and art, and realize all of it is autobiographical -- and that's what it's supposed to be.  The subject of my life's work is my life.  Maybe in some way this is true for everyone who creates?  But for me, it's literal.  In sharing my story, I tell the lives of other people who can't or won't tell their stories themselves.  Our experiences entertain or resonate for other people.

I started this floor to decorate my home, but also to give myself time to meditate and find my way forward.  I didn't know where the path would lead, and was open to the discovery.  I'm looking forward to polyurethaning the canvas this weekend, painting over the speckles I made on the wall and baseboards, moving the furniture back, cleaning house, and living the most authentic life I can live.

I went back through my posts to see just how long this floor has taken me.  I started this in June!  Okay, I've successfully held down a full-time job and lived a regular life, but I've put a huge amount of time into this.  I used up big tubes of green, white, brown, and yellow paint and wore out brushes.

As for "ink", I used a ball point pen in early phases and I can't tell you strongly enough it's a terrible idea.  I used a lot of paint covering that up again.  I resisted the urge to use the ballpoint in later phases for that reason, but there is some ink on it.  I can also say that using a silver gel pen over acrylic means a quick death to the gel pen.

(Korki and John, "they're there" is for you!)

16 comments:

  1. You really have created a stunning work of art Linda and putting your childhood map in the middle is ingenious. Yes our memories are our lives and we all hope that we can keep them fresh.......your floor will be such a wonderful place for you to sit and remember. Fabulous work, I love it x

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  2. You really have created a stunning work of art Linda and putting your childhood map in the middle is ingenious. Yes our memories are our lives and we all hope that we can keep them fresh.......your floor will be such a wonderful place for you to sit and remember. Fabulous work, I love it x

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  3. Thanks Jane! I hope it's a good conversation piece for other people's memories too, but I'm not going to let them make "corrections" :)

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  4. You like ink. I love blank sheets of paper. Or narrow-lined paper. But not the yellow tablets or newspaper. Give me pure white, just waiting for me to write on it. Of course, computers make a difference. Nothing takes the place of paper, though. Love this post. Especially this: In sharing my story, I tell the lives of other people who can't or won't tell their stories themselves.

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  5. Isn't it nice to find other people online who understand the possibilities in the blank piece of paper? Kindred spirit Terri! I think I like all paper, except the brown paper grocery bags that my mom made me use when she thought I was using up too much "good" paper. I use computers all the time, but I miss actually writing and drawing with pen and pencil.

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  6. I love your floor! It's enhanced your home's interior as well as yours. And it's been fun following along on this journey.

    First sentence - I totally agree :).

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  7. I like the way you phrased that :) I'll think of it that way in the future.

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  8. Gorgeous, Linda...and a work worthy of your life, of having wandered and observed this earth for a parenthesis in time. Wish I could see it in person! ♡

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    1. Any time you're in Ohio Susan, c'mon over!

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  9. What a cool map of your childhood neighbourhood. And congratulations with all the work you have put into it and now finally can see the result. As for your work being autobiographical; I think it's the only way an artist can make something that is more than just easy going and actually capture the audience. Whether literally or more figuratively.

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    1. I think you're right Otto. I love seeing the ways you look at the world through your work.

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  10. All roads lead "home," and putting a map of your neighborhood in the middle of this personal masterpiece is a good way to emphasize that. Some people try to cover their tracks for various reasons. It's refreshing that you are giving it a place of honor!

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    1. There's even an indicator on the floor pointing the way home. Didn't seem right to neglect that since I'd pointed out north and which way to the lake :)

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  11. Linda, that is such a romantic floor. I like the map so much. To study it will result into rich stories about the past. Visitors will look at your map and picture the map of their childhood in their minds. This bit of very creative history recording is a wonderful idea and it will provoke many stories.

    When I would walk into your room and see the floor map, I will look up. Because visiting such a creative person, I expect she will have a painting of her childhood sky on her ceiling too. Yes?

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