Jul 8, 2017

Esther Is Ready For Her Debut !

What a lovely week as far as weather goes ! Sunny, warm, some breeze and lovely skies.  And I mention this as we have had one of the wettest, darkest and coldest springs/summers in a long while ... so very noteworthy !
My peonies were exquisite  ... for exactly 3 days ... then the heavy rains bowed their beautiful heads.

My daughter is settled in her new home, deer and black bear are walking across her lawns and the 3 little girls are happy and excited. Daddy is glad to have his family at home (his hometown) after 5 mos. of commuting weekends to be with them here. 
Grandma is coming to terms (but, slowly yet) that they are so far away... yeah, I know !, 4 hrs is a cake-walk for some of you :( :(
And I thank you all, so much, for sharing your kind words and thoughts with me ... you words are very comforting and you are truly appreciated :) :)

Luckily for me, this week was a busy one. I finished and packaged 'Esther' for her debut in our next show ;

"RUNNING WITH FIBRE" 
by Connections Fibre Artists.
Would love it if you could join me 
at the OPENING this 
Friday, July 14, 7-9pm

Esther Irene Deacon Currie
Esther has been a more difficult piece for me. I know that my mixed emotions these last 10 months, has played a major part ... but she seems happy and I can hardly wait to see her hanging on a gallery wall. Her name 'Esther' is sewn in an arc just above the leaves (easier to read when up front and personal) and the year of her birth is written in a leaf ... can you spot it ?

And then there is this piece ... finally finished ... inspired by a photo from a friends' vacation in Costa Rica ... of a building in ruin but slated for renovations hence the attempt to close it off from traffic with what looks like re-bar.  
See Study Of A Ruin
Adding the re-bar to the surface after canvas was stretched
- re-bar is painted sticks from a sushi mat - closer-up
Study Of A Ruin
On Wednesday I joined 4 others for a lovely drive to Collingwood to have lunch at the Tremont Artists Studio Galleries with Helen, Ann, Elizabeth & Penny, on the patio. You can see our waiter's reflection in the window taking our photo ;) 
And an equally lovely drive on Friday to Stratford, Ontario with Elizabeth to deliver some pieces for the show opening there next week ... and finishing with a great lunch at the Desert Rose Cafe in Elora, Ontario !!!
Now if the next few weeks go as nicely and as quickly, I won't have a minute to spend on my achy-breaky heart ;)

Jul 6, 2017

I Did My Best To Deny This Was Happening :(

great friends as well as cousins
Amelia 5, Breton, 5 Sabrina 3, Cole 4
Well ... the time has come !
These 4, who have lived within blocks of each other, are now looking at 4 hr. drives for family get-togethers. The will really miss each other !
I will miss these 2 little girls and their sister, Hannah, so much.
I will miss my daughter Sarah more than I can say ... she is my baby.
But, Skype, Facetime, etc., are teaching me new computer skills ;)
And, like a dear friend says ... 'it's not Australia' ... where her son is headed next month !
Aren't we lucky that we live in these days of computer technology ???


Jun 17, 2017

Grandma Has Arrived !

Finally, my grandmother, Esther Irene Deacon Currie, has arrived after almost a year in waiting !
She has been very patient with me and suffered through several cosmetic surgeries to get her recognition. Yesterday a photo of her was sent to Gallery Stratford for her place in the Connections Fibre Artists new show 'Running With Fibre'. The new show opens July15th and, although she won't be running, she will take her place alongside 25 other, fabulous pieces of fibre art.
'Rena', as she was known, rinsed, stretched and blocked to dry
Esther Irene Deacon Currie 1902 - 1961
Now, my intention is to do my mother next in this '4 shades of grey, posterized' look that I have so enjoyed doing. After that I will start on my 3 daughters ... and, if all goes well, my 6 grand daughters ! Sounds a little ambitious, I know ! Then, if I have time, I will do a portrait of my sister, her daughter and little gr.daughter.  
I'd like to document the fact that all these women share a common mtDNA sequence ~ a sequence that is documented to be 20,000 years old ... that's a long way back ! ... but passed down from mother to daughter all the way. (sons have their mother's mtDNA but do not pass it on ... interesting, eh ?!!

May 9, 2017

Quite Surreal

It isn't very often that like a photo of myself, but recently, at our opening of ARTeFACTS ~ Connections to Wellington County, a dear friend happened to take that one photo that I actually love !
I wish I looked glamourous and younger, but I've finally accepted the fact that 'cripes, I'm no spring chicken ... nearly 70' !! And, in my new opinion, not looking too bad for 11 mos. short of 70, still standing and still waking up on this side of the dirt.
Margaret Davidson Deacon and her gr.granddaughter, Sharron Deacon Begg
In this photo, I am standing beside my 'posterized' threadpainting of my great grandmother, Margaret Davidson Deacon.
It feels quite surreal ... me and my maternal gr.grandmother, who had died 32 yrs before I was born, and now we are standing here side by side. The original photo of Margaret was probably taken when she married in 1901 and the photo above was taken Apr, 23, 2017 ... a difference of 106 years !! Very surreal.

When I am doing my portraits, I get to know them fairly well ... or, I imagine I do ! 
I research the clothing ... in this case, Margarets photo was probably taken on her wedding day, her costume was popular 20 yrs. earlier, so I deduced that she is probably wearing her mother's wedding dress. They were farmers and knew how to adjust, renew, renovate and make do.
She lived only 36 yrs. and had 7 children ... all seven I knew well as a child and I know most of their stories. 
As I sketch, erase, resize and re-draw, then trace onto water-soluble, I think about that person constantly, imagining what her life was like, how she felt, how she loved. I mull over all kinds of scenarios and ask all kinds of questions ...  and I swear they are in the room answering and helping me get my facts straight ;)
I am very familiar with the county she lived in and where the original home was. I have collected stories of her, her husband Sam & families ... I know her ! 
What is, also, so very important to me is that we share the same mitochondrialDNA. We have a very strong connection ... one that, scientifically, was handed down from mother to daughter over the last 20,000 yrs. I can hear a few scoffs, but that's OK ;) This is such an exciting, scientific time we live in.

As you know, I have been working on my next portrait ... of Margaret's oldest daughter Esther Irene Deacon (previous post). She is all done except for removing the water-soluble, blocking and drying the wet, 'posterized' portrait. I will have photos to show you in a few days ... just as soon as I figure out what iPhoto Library has done with all mu pics. !

Apr 20, 2017

Introducing Esther Irene Deacon Currie ~ In Progress

Esther Irene Deacon was 13 years old when her mother passed away eleven days after giving birth to her seventh child. Excuse me if I am repeating myself. Esther is my third 'posterized', abstracted thread portrait in a line of, hopefully, six such portraits (or more).

some cosmetic surgery required beside her mouth and her cheek
sewing surgeon tools

Esther is my maternal grandmother, the sweetest little woman I ever knew. 
I didn't know her long as I was 13 yrs. old when she died of a heart attack in 1961. 
Esther was a farmers daughter and while her three little sisters were sent away to be raised by paternal aunts, she was kept on the farm to cook and help raise her 3 brothers ... at 13 !! I can't even begin to imagine the hardships she experienced.
At the age of 16, while helping a pregnant neighbour, Esther became versed in the art of mid-wifery. Word of mouth stories abound of the local doctor who usually arrived late and 'in his cups' when he was needed the most. The local women soon started calling Esther in advance of their impending births. Esther birthed a lot of babies in the county during her lifetime. 
She was very musical, as were all her brothers and sisters. Pianos, fiddles, banjos, juice harps (Jew's harp, jaw harp, mouth harp and/or Ozark Harp) vocals and whistling were their instruments.
Esther married my grandfather James Harold Currie, (the older brother of her best friend) when he came back from WWI. They had 4 daughters, 2 of which were still born. Her youngest daughter is going to be 83 yrs. old this August. 
Her oldest daughter, my mother, died in 1985. 
James Harold died in 1987 ... he was one month short of his 90th birthday.



Apr 12, 2017

New Show !

Connections Fibre Artists have a new show !  
Working closely with the Wellington County Museum & Archives, the group has chosen an item (or two) from the museum's extensive archives, and in celebration of Canada's 150th Birthday have made complimentary pieces of fibre work. A must see !

I am very excited about this show and can hardly wait to see what marvels the group has come up with.
For my part, my strong interest in inherited old photos, and the lives these stoic faces led, prompted my desire to bring some of the museum's portraits out ... as well as the cameras that took them. 
Below - In this new show I felt that my portrait of my gr.grandmother was a perfect fit and she was finished in plenty of time.
Margaret Davidson Deacon
I had already started my 'posterized' black, 2 shades of gray and white thread portraits with my own posterized mug shot. This portrait is currently traveling and is in Thunder Bay
Sharron Elizabeth Deacon Begg
Following on quickly on the heels of these two portraits is the portrait, in same style, of my grandmother ... in progress.