I’ve been absent from my blog for a very long time now for a variety of reasons. Life has a way of taking some twists and turns and for a longer period of time than I wanted, I lost my muse and my voice. I’ve managed to continue to post my daily Instagrams, which is good for my creative side, but for a period of time the words for a blog just simply haven’t been there.
I was, however, introduced to the art form of Zentangle last year about this time and I found it to be very calming and absorbing. Each tile begins with a few basic lines and I usually have an idea of where I’m going with them, but they very seldom end up there. The process seems to take on a life of its own and my finished work usually surprises me.
Since 1980 I’ve crafted valentines for a small group of people that feel I’ve connected with on an artistic level, or perhaps they just seem to understand something about me that I can’t quite explain. The list stayed small in number because I never wanted the valentines to be mass produced but each year I make a few extras. Last year some complete strangers get those extras. I carried them with me as I was out and about on February 14th and it was a fun twist to gift them to someone who had no idea who I was. Some years it’s a proximity thing…..a valentine might be given to someone that has come into my life for a season for whatever reason.
If you’d like to read the history of the valentines click here. It’s one of three posts that tell their story. Part two is here and you’ll find part three here.
Most years the valentines are all the same, sometimes each one is different. That is the case this year and thus, the reason for this blog post. I thought the recipients might want to see the others, to understand just how unique each one is. I put them into envelopes before I addressed them so in essence, each one chose it’s recipient. Not all of them made the cut as valentines but I’m including them so you can see the variety of the work. Plus, I just wanted to see all of them in one place.
Valentine’s Day is most often thought of in romantic terms. I prefer for it to be a day on which I simply let people know I love them on one of the many, many levels that love blesses my life.
When WordPress (the platform I use for blogging) announced last week that the Daily Post feature would be going away I have to admit to feeling abandoned.
This is part three of a three part series featuring a tour of the valentines I’ve made in the years since I graduated from college. This links you to the first post. This links you to the second post.
Which brings us to 2010 and a move back to Louisiana, which inspired that year’s valentine. Let the good times roll!
We moved down the street the next February and no valentines were sent so this was included in the next year’s mailing. I suppose it’s 2011, after the fact.
This is part two of a three part series featuring a tour of the handmade valentines I’ve made in the years since I graduated from college. This links you to the first post.
Some years the valentine making process is easy, some years it literately draws blood, as it did in 2000. It seemed appropriate that the message that year was literal as well as figurative. Sometimes love is difficult and can hurt.
The next year I constructed a valentine that was transparent, with each side different, yet the same, reflecting the many layers of love within each of us….perhaps also a statement about how we change, depending upon the angle we’re viewed from.
A poster of this Jim Dine bathrobe has been framed and hanging in my bedroom ever since I was in my early twenties.
It has survived through 30+ military moves and always finds it’s place soon after being unpacked.
Like many pop artists Dine took ordinary objects and elevated them to art. It was important to Dine to look for the meaning and passion behind those objects. Born in Cincinnati, he grew up in his father’s hardware store and many of his works incorporate paintbrushes, hammers, pliers…even, quite literally, the bathroom sink. If art imitates life it makes sense that the things we see and use every day become the stuff that art is made of.
In 1997 I made a valentine with a sketch of my interpretation of a Dine bathrobe. Dine’s bathrobes and hearts have always been my favorites so it made sense to combine them.
Today, in 2016, I went into my closet, pulled out my own bathrobe, summoned some Dine mojo and allowed life to imitate art.
After which, I played with the image and the SuperPhoto app on my computer.
I like to draw but I’ve never been a painter and although the purist in me inwardly cringes at what I’ve done here, iPhone photography has gone a long way in allowing me to let that inhibition go.
Dine is my favorite pop artist but I can hardly write a post about the movement without a nod to Andy Warhol.
I’m a Campbell’s fan but my bathrobe is more likely to invoke my passions, in the spirit of Dine, than chicken noodle soup ever will.