July 27, 2010
Seashells and Golden Moments
-detail of "A Collection for Summer"
When I was about four or five years old, my GramMyrtle (who passed away years ago) bought me a paper bag full of seashells at the local thrift shop. I have few distinct memories of her, but I can clearly recall sitting at her kitchen table with a bottle of pearly nail polish painting seashells with her. She would finish painting a clam shell, hold it up to the light… and we’d admire it, and then she’d pass the polish brush to me so I could do the same. We were making beautiful little things out of dusty old trinkets somebody had donated to a dusty old shop. Looking back on that warm memory, I see it as just one of the quirky, lovely, charming little things that she taught me to do. (She also kept a collection of dead bugs on the windowsill above her sink. There was a gem-colored little beetle and a honey bee. She thought they were pretty. God, I wish she were still alive… I’d do almost anything to talk to her now as an adult). I think that the little moments like painting seashells are what life is about. Sometimes (oftentimes) the golden moments are too few and far in between the messiness of life, and it takes a careful eye to spot them, but meaning can assuredly be found in tiny, beautiful little moments that are often overlooked.
And to finish the story, I found her bag of seashells today. I spilled them out on my desk, letting nature compose the still life, and painted my GramMyrtle’s seashells wherever they fell. Nature truly is more creative than I could ever be.
-"A Collection for Summer", acylic, marker, and ink on lennox, 15" x 24".