Monday, July 25, 2011

Pages, Pieces, Priceless

When I was in high school I had this friend, Sarah.  She was only at our school for one year but in that time we became very good friends.  Her family  moved though and we did not see or hear from each other until after we both graduated.  As life would have it we had the unhappy coincidence of both of our parents divorcing at that same time.  We consoled one another in that brief reunion and then she was gone again and neither of us heard or saw each other again. 

I have several stories like that.  People who I connected with and loved for a brief time, part ways with and then reconnected with years later.  *Thanks social networking!*

About 2 years ago we were living in Texas and a friend of mine gave me an incomplete set of 1940's encyclopedias. 

"When I found these I thought of you," she said, "I figured you could think of something creative to do with them."

*Gauntlet dropped*

For a year, the encyclopedia's sat in boxes in my dining room back in Texas.  Finally, I decided to set to work.  I leafed through each book, and marked the pages that interested me.  Later I went back and narrowed it down to the things that had words that encompassed a part of my life or had drawings that had artistic interest.  These things were cut out and applied to a piece of stretched canvas with Jesso.

The result was a very interesting collage.  In and of it's self it was a piece of work that I was proud of but it never seemed finished to me.  I had always thought I would paint a big....something on it.  A large typeset letter?  I didn't know.  I just knew I liked it well enough on it's own that I did not want to ruin it with  just some hair brained idea. 

My collage stood alone in the corner of my breakfast nook (that no one eats breakfast in) for another year.

You can see it there under my Aspen painting.  This was taken at our house warming party in our home in Colorado.  Guess who came to that very house warming?  Sarah!  Turns out she lives about 45 minutes away.  It was such a comfort to see a familiar face there!  We have since been able to get together numerous times.  Each time I think how amazing it was that we became such quick friends so long ago and how close we still seem to be.  Our lives rolling along in sync with our faith, spouses and kids.
This summer, while I was visiting folks in Texas, I saw a collage at my friend Lesley's house.  (Another Lost and Found friend.) Over the collage was a painting of a huge butterfly and what looked like torn scrapbook pieces.  Her piece was a print from Target I think.  I snapped a shot because it was closer to what I wanted to achieve with my collage.

Back home in Colorado, it had been raining every afternoon for weeks.  The result was an abundance of wild flowers in bloom.  There were pockets of poppies everywhere.  I have always loved the delicate, papery petals of the poppy...and then it hit me.

After a hike one rainy afternoon, I pulled out the jesso, paints and some tissue paper.

Such is life.  So often I have found that events occur in life or people pass through and its good but seems random.  Years later it all comes together and you find yourself with a treasure in your possession.

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