Monday, January 08, 2007

A glimpse, Isabella and a lesson learnt.

Here you see my entrance, which is a big word for a very little space. It is of course the very first thing I see as I walk in and out of my front door. I have told you that each time I step over the threshold of my home I relax, I often physically feel the tension go and let out a healthy sigh. One of the many reasons for this joy is this collection of art works.

To the right just out of sight is my front door; also on the right is a patchwork wall hanging I made while house hunting for the home to put it in, this one. If you look carefully you will see my ATC files - bursting with inspiration and much loved art; an art doll made by Nat; an art doll tin by Dotee; a microscope slide assemblage I made in one of Dawn's classes at 2006 INKrediblyRT camp and a basket full of recently received art work.

The focus is Isabella and this is her story, or rather our story. Isabella was painted in Chile where my beautiful friend R spotted her in some markets and was instantly reminded of me. Despite her size and the costs of bringing her home to Australia R purchased her with love. Over months I heard of Isabella as R continued to teach in Chile - how like me she was, how much R loved her etc. When R's teaching time was up we expected her to come back to Western Australia - that did not happen, my friend went to teach on the other side of Australia and Isabella went with her.

More than a year, perhaps two, after R purchased Isabella for me she came to visit and brought the well traveled painting. I must confess - to my shame - that when I opened the painting I took an instant dislike to Isabella! I could not find any similarities between us - and was hurt that R would identify the things I saw in the painting with me. For other reasons that holiday did not end well, and the painting - in my hallway served to remind me of my pain and confusion; of a fractured long term friendship. And yet I left her there. Every day, many times a day I had to look at her. Slowly over months I found myself coming to know this self contained, independent lady and to see her spirit. I saw her hurt and her hard work - see those hands. Oh, how distraught I was when R said those large bony hands reminded her of me.

Over time I learnt to love Isabella and I learnt about art. I truly learnt that we can see different and equally valid things in any art work.

As I learnt to love Isabella I found a new bond with my old friend - a shared joy - and was able to take steps to reconciliation with this much loved woman. How precious is this painting.


Lisa said...

Beautiful. Everything.

Anonymous said...

That is a wonderful story about the painting. How nice that it opened your eyes and your heart to new things and new ways of observing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! We all see things from different eyes.
I think your entrance reflects you and your interest in art, and it looks warm and welcoming. I can understand why you feel such joy when you enter your home.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes we need the reminder to remind us (I know that sounds redundant but I think it might make sense).

I am glad in the end your relationship was restored.

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful,and interesting post my friend. You express yourself, and your feelings, so eloquently.

I enjoyed seeing your entrance hall and the art there (was thrilled to see my little tin) Nat's art doll is gorgeous. And I like the painting Isabella. And enjoyed reading her history.

Am so glad that your friendship has been repaired and that you are seeing this painting with new eyes.

Anonymous said...

U have got a really wonderful artwork at the entrance.... It feels so good to go through your blog.... it actually reveals the artistic and creative person within you.... well u can also drop by My blog sometime... hope u will find it interesting...!!!

One Crabapple said...

Your story is so interesting.

My first thoughts at seeing Isabella was ohhhhh it's beautiful !

Sorry Dotee I bypassed even you on the table in this glowing painting !

But then I read your story and went back to see her thru the eyes you had at the time your received the painting...the glow was gone for me. I searched thru the lines and colors for YOU and for the things you disliked instead. What an interesting exercise this was for me.

What have I learned? I only got this far in my thoughts ! laughing. And it is late. But that painting has a softened and graceful beauty to me now...not the burst of light and color I was so curious to know more about at the start. Now-- your turn to get into my head (reference comments / entry on your little assemblage piece above) and tell me why ...

Anonymous said...

when I enlarged your photo I thought wow, what a beautiful sort of took my eye there and kept it. The way you write is always so captivating and I enjoyed seeing what you see as each day you enter your home. As well as the history of the painting. No home is complete I might add without a wee bit of Dotee in it as well. :) I am so glad your friendship with your friend has been repaired.

Lorri Lennox said...

Hi Julie,
I immediately notice the gorgeous colour blends a fusion of delight!
I also notice a book in her hands - the love of literature and the arts!
I think your friend saw a creative set of hands, stretched from creating many wonderful things.
Love Her, she is beautiful, Just like you!