I painted “Fabric of My Imagination” during a time of loss and transition in my life. While my son was moving off to college and one of my best childhood friends was dying, I thought of the impending empty spaces that would be left in my life to fill. I used new materials, fabrics, symbols, patterns, and colors to symbolize the bold new tools required to construct new places and build connections to fill the empty spaces of loss and distance. I couldn’t imagine my life without these people, but I needed to create a space of hope and inspiration while carrying the wisdom of the past into the unknown space of the future.
Flowers have always been a symbol of life for me. It is so easy to see the state of the plant in its leaves and petals. Like a flower, creativity needs to be constantly worked on, as it is a living concept. The same goes for fabric. Fabrics are part of our daily lives. When we dream we sleep on a bed of fabrics and during our waking hours we clothe ourselves in fabrics that make us feel comfortable. Just as thousands of tiny strands form to form a single yard of fabric, we are connected together by the fabrics we wear, either by culture or fashion, and it is a part of who we are.
As a mother raising sons, I see a parallel between the hungry caterpillar that starts off living on a flower and that morphs into a hard chrysalis hanging from its leaves into a butterfly that launches into the world. The butterfly is a symbol of transcendence and my friend Laurel, before her passing, mentioned that she would "send white butterflies when she leaves". I painted "Laurels Relm" before I knew of her promise to send butterflies and everyday I see a butterfly I feel her presence.
Through the use of these new mediums, I was able to express the intersection of a complex and challenging emotions and fill the inevitable gaps that come as relationships change and transform.
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