...today I remember her, and the day that she left. But it is the same as the day before and the day before that...and tomorrow and every day that is to come. Every day is November 16th.
I have had an amazing week. My work was accepted into a gallery and people will be able to go there and see my art, heck, even buy it. Part of the preparation process was to prepare an artist statement...truthfully something I have avoided doing. I wrote some things but the more I think about why I make art and how I make art...the more things I am figuring out...and the more questions I have...the more possibilities I see.
Making the art is easy. Explaining the WHY...that is harder.
Looking back on it, I had a very prolific year that year, in terms of my art. I made a ton of work. Now when I think about it, I think that might of been a way for me to cope with losing Amy. I guess I didn't realize it at the time. When I was making the work I didn't have to think about it, I could just lose myself in the process of making art. It helped me get through that time.
So it makes sense to me that I would associate art with Amy...and making art to creating a safe haven for myself in a time when things were out of my control. In my life, when things were out of control...like when it was just me and mom when my dad left...and times when we didn't have money...I would turn to things that would allow me to create my own sense of 'order'...from coloring my coloring books one page at a time, in order and leaving the pages in the book...to dressing and redressing my Barbies and meticulously 'posing' them on the shelf before I went to bed so they would be ready for the next day...trying to 're-decorate' our always humble living spaces...single-wide trailers, apartments, houses with no central heat or air...and even now that I think about it, mom did this a little bit, too. She would make sure my clothes matched and I looked nice for school, no matter what our circumstance. You don't realize it...or at least I didn't...but all of these things feed into who I am as a person and an artist. Things being 'beautiful' and 'organized' gave me comfort.
(Side note...this is all very jumbled and stream of consciousness. It used to bother me and I would try to neaten up my writing...but this is my inner narrative...my voice...so it has to be read like this. Sorry for any grammar-lovers out there, syntax doesn't live here.)
Another thing that I often think about is the actual moment that I found out that Amy died. The whole ride to the hospital I was crying, but I didn't think she would be gone. I thought she was hurt. I never for a minute thought she would not be here anymore. But I was in the room when the doctor came in and told John and Jennifer the news...and I feel like that day I heard...I felt...their hearts break when it happened. That moment will never, ever leave me. That pain, that loss.
So I made art...I turned to making art to fill that void...to keep my mind off things...to fill dark spaces with light. And making art helped me with the healing process...and the art that I made...that I make...I have noticed that it can help others as well.
Which is why I love my #angeldrop side project so much...and when people are moved by something that I create.
I was on the phone with Jennifer earlier this week and she was telling me about an artist that made it his life's work to help the bereaved through his art. This rang so true to my heart...every time I think of this possibility it feels my eyes with tears and my heart with love.
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Artist and Art Teacher