3.30.2009

trends, inspirations, and mothers.

Last week I heard a little blip on talk radio about how aprons used to be an endearing symbol of a mother's love. You probably get the idea~ tears wiped, food made, hands dried. But I started daydreaming of this image and the idea of the mother in the middle, wearing this magic fabric as she manages and loves the household. Now for starters, as evidence from these pictures (Alex is showing Lil his floury hands from baking) I am not in the center of our house. Alex is often cooking and baking and care taking Lili.
To help myself stay focused I have been trying to give myself some guidelines lately so I am not all over the place, flitting from one thing to the next with my art. So the apron started to emerge in my painting dreams. I started picturing all of these cute vintage aprons painted as the focal point in a series of paintings.
Then tonight I hoped over to Stephanie Levy's blog (you should too, she is a wonderful artist!) and scrolled down to see this cute new series she did. And that is when I saw that in a few of the paintings she has a very nice apron, very close to what was in my head. As I stared at it these mixed emotions swelled through me.
We live in a day and age where we can see images from around the world in a split second. It only takes a quick google search to see that what you are doing is far from original. This happened after I had started my "rest" series. I had painted a few chairs and then decided to see if anyone else was painting chairs. I did a search on etsy and wham there were hundreds of artworks with chairs in them. All of a sudden chairs seemed to me to be a ridiculously trendy thing to be painting. Birds I know are trendy, but chairs? *sigh*

I am reflecting back to one of my best friend's mothers telling us that EVERYTHING has been done before. You can't do anything new. We were maybe 10 and we were MAD about that. We will show her! we thought.

and what is more depressing now? The fact that I am painting things/ideas that have already been done, or the fact that I am turning into the grown-up who believes my friend's Mom?

And on the flip side, I feel like it IS amazing to be able to take part in the interconnectedness and various takes on archetypal themes and images. I am SO grateful to have access to thousands of talented and inspirational artists from all over the world.

Overall: I think I am confused about it all.

p.s. I just noticed that Lili is wearing one of her doll's apron in these pictures. That's funny!

4 comments:

stephanie levy said...

Hey, thank you so much and what a big compliment. How cool :)
It is amazing - I sometimes think the Internet is like one big collective brain of the world.
And I love that Greg Brown quote - this is just what I was thinking of when making the "gartenliebe" series.

bottomland said...

It was probably my mom saying "there's nothing new under the sun!" And if it wasn't her saying it, than it's something she might have said. But don't lose heart! First of all, I think there is *A* truth to this statement, (it is a quote from the Biblical book Ecclesiastes, written by a man who was deeply depressed--isn't that kind of how it feels when we're depressed?) but it's only one side of the story. Come on friend! YOU painting a chair, or a bird, or an apron, is TOTALLY new! You've never painted that painting before, and your heart has never been expressed in a piece of art quite like this one! And any one who's ever watched a baby be born knows that that child is simultaneously "everybaby"--a representative of all of us, and totally unique at the same time. So paint some aprons, damn it! ;) I love you and I know that there is no one else exactly like you. Sending LOVE!

bottomland said...

Oh, and I LOVE birds! I don't care one iota if they're "trendy" anyway, I'm going to put some of those bird decals from Urban Outfitters up on my kitchen walls one of these days!

Erin said...

Ditto on what they all said! Nothing is like a KKL painting! I love them all! Love you!