Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas on Mars

This post is Christmas oriented, but related to my collages. I am a sucker for the lights at Christmas. When I was a kid we used to drive around in the "nice" neighborhoods and look at the decorated houses. My mom loved doing that, and I think it was a way to get us kids to sit down and not bounce off the walls for a bit. My dad was a career army officer, so we moved a lot. With four kids, we never lived in a nice neighborhood. Luckily Mom had a strong preference for a tree that touched the ceiling, and we had a nice collection of ornaments, many were hand made by us kids and my grandparents. That made Christmas special wherever we were.

I am sometimes amazed at how well my parents did at managing four kids. They started young and had four in seven years. They seemed to mostly enjoy it, although there were plenty of ups and downs. So of course Christmas is a time for me to remember my childhood, and family connections since then. It's a time that is both happy and very sad. I miss the people who aren't here.

How does this relate to art-making? I love starry backgrounds in my collages. Put in some stars or a bunch of lights against a dark background and a collage looks just right to me. Aside from a nostalgic sadness, they also often give me a feeling of awe at the beautify and immensity of the universe.

The things that leap out at me in these memories are, of course, the lights, also a love of handmade things, and family connections. In general I think it's important to figure out what moves you. What things do you remember from your childhood that still evoke strong feelings? How do those things show up in the art you make? Can you use that more? Is it serving you well?

Have a wonderful Holiday, how ever you celebrate. And if you are sad, please remember that many other people are also sad this time of year. They often hide it because they feel weird, but it is there. Recognizing our common humanness can bring us together and help people to feel compassion for each other, even those we don't agree with.


eileen2000 said...

That was beautifully expressed. Sending love and happy creative wishes for the coming year.

Judith Hoffman said...

Thank you Eileen! Love and lots of creativity in the new year to you. See you soon too.