Last week I posted the collages featuring drawings of my mother over newsprint. I decided to do one more but this time used a softer colored tissue paper in the background. Looking through my stack of newspapers, I found another puzzle completed by her: a cryptoquote. As I started to tear it from the larger sheet, I read the cryptoquote puzzle she completed:
Yes Mother, I can see you are flawed. You have not hidden it. That is your greatest gift to me. Alice Walker.
A chance meeting or perhaps it was fate finding a torn paper celebrating flaws. I often start with flawed surfaces as grounds. We are all flawed, quick to point out the flaws of others yet sensitive about showing our own. The quote became an integral part of the artwork. Serendipitously I had drawn her face this time without dark shadows and so the quote would be exposed beneath her face. Perfect.
I am very proud of this work: happy dance proud.
Tracing the lines of my mother’s smile I see my grandfather. They were nothing alike my mother said, and yet I see the same calm, solid ways in their manner. I see the same crinkling of eyes and the vivid blueness with hints of melting icicles. What I didn’t expect was seeing my own smile in her smile; her face being one of character and determination. I thought I had my Grandfather’s dreamer qualities that never amounted to anything. Now I see both my mother and grandfather in my smile. I touched the lines of my smile when I began tracing hers and the lines go back deep.
She gave me a great gift in showing her flaws. As did her mother before her. Hereditary gifts.