Thursday, February 13, 2014

Bloomin' at 60 with Nancy Mellon

Jafabrit is an artist who loves painting, embroidery, photographing, drawing, yarnbombing, blogging and hanging out with her jafapals. 
Jafa T it's time for Ha Ha

"Bloomin' at 60" Series 

Nancy and I were so inspired by Cynthia Korzekwa's blog post on art for housewives about the artist Lee Godie and her photo booth photographs and decided we wanted to do a series. Not the same of course, but the idea of transformation hit a nerve with Nancy.

" Lee Godie and the Need for Transformation" 
Just like Lee, I have a need for transformation. Of my thoughts. My body is transforming all on it's own. You think I would have expected it but it's been a surprise. I became 60 and wondered what am I becoming. Old? Dead? Is it "Bang! you're an old lady now"? Um, yes in some ways that is the way our society perceives a woman after she turns 60. So what does "old" mean to me? It is pretty spooky to me. My mom did not go gracefully into her old age. But if I look at some of the artists I know ....It's filled with creativity and when not creating, it still seems manageable. They laugh or cry and create and transform their struggles into art.  They aren't listening to society, they are listening to their inner voice. 

Part of this aging thing is that I am getting mucho wrinkles and I kind of like the wrinkles. They remind me of my grandmother.  She did aging well.  Her face was a beautifully wrinkled apple doll face. Grandma carved apples for years and dried them by hanging them up like a wash line of tiny shrunken heads. Then she created the homeliest dolls from them. She also kept playboys under a stack of magazines, she sang silly songs and told stories about the pleasure of not wearing a corset. She dressed up for Halloween, made maple syrup candy to give out and fit right in if she decided to go along with the neighborhood kids Trick or Treating. 

My fascination with the changes to my body make me, the artist me, interested in painting and drawing and describing the beauty of old bodies, how they bend and curve, how they are full of intricate lines.  

Lee chose to transform herself into others through her photo series. I found it fascinating and meaningful that she was able to find a way to make choices, to be in control over something in her difficult life.  And in those concentrated moments of choosing and creating another life, she must have felt alive and good. Like Lee using "art to give her madness meaning and direction" I think we can transform our aging selves into art that gives meaning and a chosen direction to go in."  

thanks for dropping by