Princess Leia
Grief in the Museum

Today marks the 6 month anniversary of Vernon’s death. 6 months of incorporating Grief into our lives. When I’ve mentioned this to friends in the past couple of days, people have most often said: “I can’t believe it’s only been 6 months! Time does fly.” But to me, it feels at least that long. I think time started feeling different for me when Vernon was hit. Everything started slowing down. Even his final death was slowed down. It’s only now that time is beginning to speed back up for me again, now that I’m busy for myself again. And that is daunting in itself, so I don’t think about it too much. I suppose its much like the development of a child. The early months are slowed with lack of sleep and tending to a needy baby. Then the child begins to sit up, crawl, and (if you are lucky) sleep through the night. Development hastens. And suddenly it’s growing so quickly.  Next thing you know, you are missing the cuddly early days, only remembering the good-parts version. Humans are funny like that.

I didn’t do this to mark the date, but it just happens that I was able to hang another group of paintings at a hair salon this week. The significance of these paintings is huge to me. Many of them were painted in the summer of 2005, around the time I started talking to Vernon. I actually was getting to know him a little WHILE I was working on these. They were to be part of my first solo show. It was a very special period for me, working on so many pieces at a time. It was incredibly therapeutic, as for me I was able to work out some deep issues I had with female beauty. (Don’t ask me now what they were or how this series helped me, but I remember distinctly recognizing this in my 34 year old mind.)

As a wedding present, an artist friend posted the remaining artwork to us in England, where the series continued to ebb and morph over the years, selling the odd one here, painting a new one here. They moved back with me to California as well…where from time to time, I would sell or add another into the mix. But some of the originals are still with me. So to put them together again in a local exhibit has been a poignant experience. I even went back to the same craftsman friend that showed me how to make my own box frames in 2005. He quickly helped me put together six new frames this month. So many circles closing. Now that they are up on show again, its clear that this family of paintings based on Chinese girls of the 1930’s has bookended my entire relationship with Vernon.

I came across this in an email from 11/19/06—from Vernon:

These are for sale, incidentally. And if you would like to see them in person, you can visit: Syren’s Hair Parlor, 217 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, CA 92672

Here is a little film from the other day, putting up the show. And after that, some pictures. 🙂

IMG_5133 2 IMG_5129 IMG_5130 IMG_5131 IMG_5132

 

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Princess Leia
Grief in the Museum