Creating this piece of art has been both invigorating and heart wrenching. From the day I started, I kept notes which included my thoughts, my sadness and my ideas. The process has been both slow and difficult in which I was only able to create when the inspiration and courage arose. New ideas were noted; and whether I was able to create at that time or not did not matter...the ideas were preserved.
At various periods of time, I had bursts of energy in which I was able to design and create the components of this mixed media tribute to my husband of almost 49 years! The first thing I did was string beads in patriotic colors on wire and insert the wire into a catheter extension tube. I chose those patriotic colors to recognize Alan's 4 years of service in the U. S. Air Force. Challenging and not to my satisfaction, it was not incorporated into the final project.
There were time lapses in which I was unable to make any progress with my ideas. I was grieving and allowed myself to not feel pressured to set a timeline for finishing this work so important to me. In January 2017, I worked on creating 3 flowers crocheted with silk ribbon around catheter tubes . I felt happy with the way came together..
|Close-Up: Catheter Tube Flowers|
|Woven Basket: Wool and Tubing Warp|
|Crocheted basket over extension tubing|
My creative juices began to flow again in March 2019 when I took a class at the Indianapolis Art Center: Textiles with New Materials! The class was small with only 3 students and our teacher, Hailee Heron, was fantastic! She taught in a very relaxed manner and encouraged us to think about our "process." We played with many textile techniques, but using unusual fibers was stressed and in ample supply in class. One session, we went outside of the center and collected "garbage" to them return to class and create something led by our material and process.
|Sophisticated Lady with Painted Nails|
|Butterfly on my shoulder!|
|Close-up of the butterflies|
|I sat with Alan and held his hand for 3 weeks|
|Front: Catheter Bag Picture Frame and Syringe filled with Glitter|
|Back: Catheter Bag Picture Frame|
|Side view with Air Force Patch|
|Top View: Air Force Patch|
Today on Alan's birthday, I consider my sculpture and memorial to him done! I will sometimes think back on his suffering, but more so on his courage. This piece is an artistic accomplishment that I am proud of, and it serves to remind me of the grief I am transforming into a new chapter of my life. Each day I do my best to not look back and suffer sadness, but to be grateful and to find happiness in my new chapter. There is so much to be grateful for!