Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Portraits of Trees are on my mind

I’ve been weaving feverishly in my art studio of late.  Looming hard deadlines to hang a show are always a great motivator!  I’ll be exhibiting a show called ‘Portraits of Trees’ in the City Hall atrium in the Showers building starting March 4th, but I started the new year with only two pieces appropriate for the show.  I was envisioning a collection of pieces that resembled photographic portrait stills.  The subjects are trees of varying species set in different contexts, but always capturing a family connection or relationship to the people in their lives.  Given the space, I think I’ll need at least a dozen new pieces with this theme.  Now I’m up to seven, after many hours in my art studio.  In my last blog I featured a piece I called ‘Tethered Memories’, which featured a balloon tethered to a park bench.  I love that piece, and it set me to imagining a baby in a stroller with a balloon tied to the handle. 
The completed piece spawned the idea for a triptych entitled ‘Trips to Bryan Park.’  The second piece in the series features a tree and a little red wagon, imagining a child old enough to pull a wagon full of essential toys to the park.  These are both pieces that resonate with my trips to Bryan Park with my boys as they grew up.  The current phase of their life will be titled something like ‘Emerging Independence’ and features a bicycle leaning up against a tree.  Now both boys ride to the park by themselves, armed with a cell phone and instructions to call when they arrive and when they set out for home.  They take their tennis rackets or a basketball when the weather allows and meet their friends in the park.  The last piece I just completed for the show is called ‘Family Portrait’ and features a large paper birch stand in a landscape format, shown in the summertime. 
Both Jim and I grew up in northern climes surrounded by lots of birches, so the piece feels like an extended family portrait.  I had some help from Noah Blumenthal wrapping birches at the end of last year after he graduated from IU.  Some kids end up flipping burgers, but Noah decided he wanted to wrap birches to show his parents that their money supporting his college education was worthwhile!  It was good to have someone in the art studio to chat with, but it is also good that he’s a quiet person so I was able to focus on my own work.  Anyway, now I have a month and a few days to come up with five more tree pieces!  I really have to stay focused.

After some brutally cold weather, January has begun to look up.  Well, at least the days are getting longer...  Jim finally got the hint that it was time to make another pie.  A beautiful cherry pie appeared Sunday morning while I worked in the art studio.  I didn’t even notice it until later in the day when I spotted it on a swing through the kitchen.  My birthday celebration is also coming up this week, which we moved from late in December.  There are just too many good things to eat around the holidays, so making another chocolate cake didn’t seem like the right thing to do.  I’m hoping for a nice dinner and a Sacher or Linzer Torte.   
And maybe even a present!  I won’t get my hopes up too high just yet, though.  With all the goodies coming my way, it felt great to get back into a fitness routine of late.  I seem to have gotten into more classes than I was doing before, but I love it.  There’s a new Dancefit class at Windfall in the mornings, and Hayley, the instructor, is an amazing ball of energy.  She’s incredibly positive and enthusiastic, so much so that it’s fun to get up in the morning.  I’m still doing Bollywood on Saturday mornings at Panache, and this past Saturday the class was packed.  A lot of my favorite people were together having a rocking good time.  I even get some afternoon exercise time with Jenny (sweaty Mondays) or Walter (wicked Wednesdays).  After a full day of making art I really appreciate the chance to just go dance and throw my body around.  I get a reminder with my morning espresso and cherry pie that I need to get up and exercise!  Life is good.

Until next week,

Martina Celerin 

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