Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Round 2: Unintended Collections

I looked in my top drawer where I keep my underwear and found that over the years I've stashed away some precious tidbits. In doing this drawing, I discovered a time capsule of my life--the tender and sweet things of life (teeth saved by the Tooth Fairy, a plush bunny from my babyhood, a birthday card from my now deceased parents, colorful cotton underwear, hand drawn love-notes from my children) and the difficult and deeply sorrowful underbelly of my life (stillbirths and cancer). C'est la vie! Even with all its twists and turns, I love my life!


  1. The overall picture is delightful and full of colour.
    Your rich and involved family life often permeates your work.

    Reading this carefully, it seems almost too sad to comment but the charm of it shines through :)

  2. Yes, life is full of joy and sorrow. One is all too fleeting the other an unwelcome and all to persistent visitor. To me your drawing tells the story of everyday life. Everyday life that seems insignificant at the time, like your underwear, is what surrounds us and holds us together. It cradles the joys and embeds them in the fabric of our lives. It holds our tragedies close too, they are a part of who we are but they are softened and become less intense as we live our everyday lives. They become pastel with time.
    I love the image very much Marcia.

  3. Rosie--For me, sharing the personal (especially deep sorrows) is empowering--it enables me to transcend them. I do understand how that can make others uncomfortable, though. For example, I did a whole series of drawings on my experiences of stillbirth. For years, I shied away from creating the images that were gnawing at me. After all, who would ever want to look at drawings of dead babies? But then I realized it didn’t matter if anybody was there to receive them--I, for my own sanity, needed to do them. Then low and behold, an audience (others who needed to accept and understand the reality of childbirth loss, who needed to heal from the grief and pain of it), came forward. The work was exhibited and one of the drawings used on a book cover about childbirth loss. And most importantly, on a very personal level, I have somehow paid homage to my stillborn children (2!) by telling their story. Yes, there is life & joy after the worst happens.

  4. Katie--
    I love your interpretation! “The fabric of our lives”, coming from you a fabric artist, is particularly poignant. “Softened and become less intense as we live our everyday lives”--so true. But, as you know all too well, living through the realities of illness is unavoidably vivid and painful.

  5. Marcia, thank you for your response to my comment :) I always appreciate your writing. You seem to have great clarity of expression.

    Maybe my upbringing has caused me to be less expressive than I could. Certainly to discuss emotions on line would be difficult for me. Probably this is due to family traits plus being English, quiet and rather old!! :)
    Rosie x

  6. It is wonderful to me that you have been able to tell the story of your babies and that it should help others too.

    There is much about my life that I should be meeting face to to face and dealing with.
    My artwork is always on the 'outside' of life and I guess is likely to remain so. There is too much to sort out :)

  7. Rosie--
    I appreciate your discussing this with me. I understand, for whatever reasons, the differences in sensibilities and comfort levels about the sharing of the personal. My daughter-in-law is Jamaican. I think byway of Jamaica’s former influence as a British colony, there are (in my view) rather buttoned-down expectations of propriety about sharing the personal in public. My d-i-l is quite uncomfortable with how the “bad things” keep popping up in my artwork.

    After spending quite a few years focusing my creativity on what felt like overwhelming loss (I wrote & illustrated a book--yet unpublished--about my breast cancer. And wrote essays and drew many images relating to my stillbirths), I now feel wonderfully released to record through my drawing the here-and-now, the beauty & quirkiness of everyday life. A lot less gut-wrenching. It’s like being in a light-filled cathedral after being assigned to the catacombs for so long.
    Love, M

  8. Such a very interesting collection Marcia! I especially like bunny and teeth, it's so sweet to keep. My bunny (Mom's first gift) is with me, 28years old :))

    1. So what's the bunny's name? Mine is Ida, after the aunt who gave it to me. Were you born in 1983 or 1984? My oldest child, my son was born in 1983.