On this journey of discovery, there is a path I will eventually travel. It is the path to understand all the wonderful things it means to have an artist for a mother. This is not the natural path for me. It's easy to take the right turns, and harder to take the left ones. This one is a big left turn for me... so, I just started to veer in that direction and I'll see how it goes.
On my last class assignment, we were to take a few related objects to photograph in different ways. They could be related by shape, color, texture, etc. I chose objects related to my mother and her art. On one hand, it is hard to look through all of the scraps, half completed work, used supplies, and books that she left. On the other hand, it brings to life for me the way she thought, how she learned, and the way she saw the world. It won't always be pretty, if I take the left turn. So I started out easy with the following:
I remember when she was going to classes to learn watercolor. By that time, she was a proficient oil painter with a following in the Chicago area. I could see her struggle and get frustrated with the new medium. There is less control than with oil. But not surprisingly, over time, she mastered the technique. As I now look back, I can tell she wasn't ever comfortable with watercolor because she did not complete a lot of work in that medium. But I can tell that she used the tools she learned in other periods of her work.
I then moved on to another phase. I wasn't too fond of this phase, but she LOVED it. How do you sell pictures of BUGS? But that wasn't what mattered. It was the discovery of a subject that she needed to master.
It was interesting for me to take these photos. It took me out of the position of daughter, and put me in the position of fellow artist (although, I would never suggest that I have the same depth of talent as Maxine). It allowed me to see things differently. It allowed me to see her differently...
More to come when I can journey further down the road past that left turn...