Monday, May 25, 2009

Abstracted Rose Finished

Rose (untitled), 8"w x 15"h, Coloured Pencil on Stonehenge
Copyright Teresa Mallen

Here is the finished image of the work in progress I showed last time. You might recall that I was going for abstracted realism here. While the piece is a representation of an inner section of a rose, my desire was to capture and emphasize the various lines and curves that I found so appealing. You can click on the detailed view below for a better idea of how the piece looks close up.

I haven't given any thought as to what the title of this piece might be. I will tape it to the wall of my studio and perhaps something will come to mind as I look at it over the next little while.

It has been two weeks since I posted. Please don't infer that this piece took that long to do! In fact this piece came together quickly as there wasn't a lot of detail to render. Unfortunately I just haven't been able to spend much time in my studio recently. As some of you may know, my father passed away last year. My mother died six years ago. My sister and I have inherited the family farm and we are now in the process of going through the house and all of their belongings. For those of you who have already had to face a similar situation, you know what a huge task this can be. It is at least a three hour drive to get to the farm and back so these sessions are time consuming and tiring.

My parents moved a few times but eventually they bought a farm in 1957 and they lived there the rest of their lives - long enough to settle in well and accumulate stuff. So we sort, throw out, clean, sort some more, throw out, clean...on and on it goes. I have done at least 20 loads of laundry in the past week as I prepare their clothing to go to a charity. Once we are done the house, we can look forward to sorting the outbuildings. Old farm machinery, yippee. Right about now I could use a few extra siblings. :-) Then again, I have heard a lot of horror stories of how family members fight over their parents' estate so maybe things would just be more complicated.

It has been an interesting time wandering down memory lane. Many items bring back memories of the childhood that I spent there. Holding a crystal pickle tray transports me back to Christmas dinners with Mom's homemade relishes and bread and butter pickles. Long forgotten and tucked at the back of my old bedroom closet I discovered my buffalo sandals from the '70s. The stuff we choose not to throw out, it is so interesting. Costume jewelry that belonged to my grandmother - my mother couldn't part with it and now neither can we! This is a time of memories, laughter and tears.

The unexpected fallout of this is that as we sort the farmhouse my home suddenly becomes stuffed with items that I am bringing back. Yikes...Oh, but there are some groovy finds. Last week we accessed a couple of storage rooms over the kitchen. You can only get up there via a ladder and we hadn't done this in many, many years. Well woo-hoo, I was still climbing the ladder when I spied some lovely chairs. One really gorgeous looking one (lovely lines to its construction) and a few others. They were buried under other things so I don't know if my woo-hoo will turn to an uh-oh. Perhaps they are broken or something. I do know that there is pigeon poop on everything so some serious cleaning will be required. My sister has dibs on the 1900 Singer treadle sewing machine. So now you know what I am up to if my blog posts get rather infrequent!

So what is up next in the studio? Well, this week I have to work on getting the Chard piece ready to ship to Atlanta. Tonight I am going to haul out all of my mat board to see if I have a large enough sheet in the right shade of off white. I had mentioned in the last post that I might do a few of these rose pieces. To get started I will look for another reference image from my photos. Right now though, I am going catch up on reading some of my favourite blogs.


Jeanette said...

I love the shapes of this piece Teresa. Its a very calming image.

Yes, sorting out estates is time consuming. Finding items that bring back old memories is one of the more pleasant parts of clearing out. Having to go through so many possessions to discover what is to be kept or tossed is hard work.

It does sound as if you have your work cut out for you to do this. If I were closer, I'd come along and give a hand cleaning up.

Teresa Mallen said...

Gosh Jeanette, let me see if I have any extra frequent flyer you have any vacation time available this summer? :-) Okay, perhaps not...yet it is your generous thought that counts!

It seems that we develop a threshold to cleaning. I am used to doing a certain amount at my own home each week but now that I am using up these hours and more to clean another property, I am finding myself 'all cleaned out' when I return home. Guess I am going to have to bump that threshold up a notch or two!

Valerie Jones said...

First of all, congratulations on being juried into the CPSA International exhibit!!

The abstract rose is fascinating. I love the soft feel and curved lines.

I'm glad you are going down memory lane but sorry you have such a big chore. I am not looking forward to a time like this when my parents leave their earthly home. They have accumlated too much and can't part with their things.

Teresa said...

Hi Teresa,

What wonderful flowing lines and soft color transitions you have in your rose. So interesting to do a close up of a familiar object and see it in a completely different light.

What a bittersweet task you and your sister have. I can't even imagine how difficult that must be. I'm glad you have a sister so you don't have to do this alone.

Christine said...

Teresa, thanks for your nice comment on my blog!
Your newest piece is very creative and wonderfully done. I just wish I could see all your work up-close and in person. I am sure it is even more impressive IRL. You are an inspiration!!
I dearly hope you are doing fine, having to go through this emotional rollercoaster ride! Hugs to you!

Teresa Mallen said...

Thank you Valerie! Yes, our parents often do have a lot of stuff. But then again so do I! :-) Like the things I squirrel away in my studio closets because they might be useful in a creative project some day...good grief...

Hi Teresa and thanks for your lovely thoughts. Yes it is a bittersweet time. It is amazing the memories that get triggered.

Hi Christine, thanks for the hugs and I am doing very well. Reliving my past has made me appreciate even more how blessed I am to have had the parents I did as well as a childhood on that farm. Hey, if you ever travel to Ottawa, do stop by for a gander at my art, up close, in person and everything. You would be most welcome!

Jan said...

I thought I had commented on this post before but evidently not! I like your abstract rose a lot.

My mother passed away over 10 years ago and because she knew she was dying, she tried to tidy up as many loose ends as possible. My father is still living and has gone even further with the cleaning out. But, I know there will still be lots of "stuff" that will have to be gone through. I don't envy your task except for the memories that the bits and pieces bring back.

May I tag along with Christine if she should decide to visit? I'd like very much to see your art in person also!

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Jan, I am so glad you like the rose! And yes, do join Christine, the more the merrier! :-) You would be most welcome as well.