Thursday, September 4, 2008

away

If you've been reading my blog, you know that I was away over a week ago. I promised that I would write about it here. The main reason for the trip was to attend the interment ceremony of my aunt Jan who died in June. We had the interment ceremony on her birthday, August 24th. It was certainly a sad occasion but I think we gave her a lovely send-off. I hadn't been in touch with my aunt for many, many years. My Mom always kept me up-to-date on what was going on with she and my uncle. I always had great affection for her because she never talked down to me as a kid. She was a straight-talker and as my Dad would say, "a good egg".

Jan was an artist. When I entered her studio, I felt a pang of regret that I had not been in touch with her. It was clear that we would have had a great deal to talk about. A great deal in common. She worked with watercolours, oils, acrylics, and, when her emphysema became quite severe and she couldn't handle the fumes of paint, she did computer art. She was passionate about her art and had quite a library of books on art. My Uncle Bob generously told me that I could choose any books that I wanted from her collection of over a hundred titles. It was an honour to do so. Most of her books were about watercolour and oil technique, but she had quite an eclectic collection. Below are the books that I chose. They will hold a special place in my studio library and will be well used. Some of these books had small scraps of paper, marking certain pages that were probably of interest to her. I will keep these scraps in the pages where they were placed, in honour of Jan.

Instead of returning directly home after the ceremony, Jerzy and I decided to stop for a few days in Prince Edward County, an area noted for its sand dunes, wineries, and artists studios. We stayed two nights and basically just lay on the beach, had some nice meals, popped into an art gallery, and went for some nice walks in the woods and fields. A brief but enjoyable get-away...

Some images from our walk in the woods

Some images from our walk in the fields

15 comments:

Jo Stocker said...

Dear Kate,

It is so nice of you to share this special moment. That feeling of being connected to your aunt through art.

I have great empathy, my grandfather was similarly artistic - a kindred spirit.

Thank you for all the lovely pictures, too!

All the best, Jo

(Two more nominees missing before I pick up my award and pass it on...)

nadia said...

Beautiful! fall is such a wonderful & magical time!

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

I'm sorry to hear about your aunt. I have gotten in the bad habit of losing touch since I live away from family now. This is a great reminder to keep those connections intact.

I bet we'll see some new work from you inspired by your aunt Jan....

kvk jewelry said...

I have to wonder about the nature of reconnecting with friends and relatives after they have passed. It can be so painfully poignant, but maybe it's a way to see them with new eyes and keep them with you in spirit. It sounds like the few days after the ceremony were a fitting tribute to your aunt as well, allowing you to see and experience your surroundings with a different perspective. Blessings come from so many places.
Many blessings and thanks to you for your thoughtful images and words. - kvk

Jeane said...

a part of your aunt with you as you continue your journey - a gift - and may I say your photo montages just kill me each time - they are just gorgeous - you and Jo Horswill do this so well -

kate said...

jo...I recall your grandfather's wire that you photographed. It really touched me. It may be my favourite of all the photos of yours that I have seen. So loaded with emotion. Thanks for your kind comments.

nadia...thanks so much for visiting! And commenting! Much appreciated. Hope to see you again! Fall is my favourite season.

ww...thanks. You have a good point there about keeping in touch with family. And no doubt, Jan's spirit, through her books, will inspire me.

kathy...very nicely said. As usual!Thank you so much.

jeane...truly a gift. And regarding the photo montages, I like to think Jo and I inspire one another. :) I know she inspires me!

Jo Horswill said...

Kate, how wonderful that your aunt was an artist. No doubt you will think of her everytime you open up one of those books...what a wonderful legacy.
Glad you and Jerzy were able to spend some days together...Prince Edward County looks like just perfect place for quiet contemplation and re-connection...
your stunning images reflect this beautifully. Hug from me to you :)

notmassproduced said...

how sad but so special that you will treasure those little bits of paper in the places that your aunt left them

kate said...

jo...thanks for the hug and here's one back at you!

kate...funny how a few bits of paper can have so much meaning.

Robyn said...

How wonderful to have some of your aunts books. I often wonder what is going to happen to my beautiful book collection. Hopefully they will go to someone who appreciates them as much as I do. Your aunt would be so chuffed to know you have them.

Uschi said...

Looking at your beautiful walk-pictures I recognize, that nature is able to calm me whenever I'm out there. So much to focus on, to learn about...fascination!

Fascination also about the fact, that somebody you missed in life can stay in your mind and soul through simple things ( like these paper-scraps) which would mean nothing at all to a not similiar feeling spirit.

lynne h said...

thank you for this beautiful and poignant post, kate...

thinking about your aunt makes me see even more clearly how the creating we do is for ourselves-- our process, how we work things out in this lifetime. yes, some parts of us are left behind through our art, but really, not much. most of it was process, and then there's an empty studio... although these books will certainly pass something along. i like this...

kate said...

robyn...I imagine your book collection would be something to behold!

uschi...maybe that's the key. Simple things. In simple things, there is room for thoughts, emotion, memory.

lynne...interesting thought. About process and not leaving much behind of our art. It's true that the bulk of our art-making being is process. I must ponder that for awhile...

Shayla said...

What a special heritage to have an artist in the family.

I inherited an old recipe collection but only went through it recently. My friend's personality came through so strongly. I got to know her in a different way than I had as a child. It was very special.

I wouldn't be surprised if the art books and all her notes bring you a sense of connection.

kate said...

shayla...these are comforting words. Thank you.