Friday, January 7, 2011

Ashes and Snow









I had it in mind to do a small charcoal portrait from an old photo of my Mom to begin my daily project, but while I was baking yesterday afternoon, I looked out the window at the bright sun shining on the brilliant snow and got the notion to grab the ash can and draw with the crumbly gray powder directly on the clean white expanse of my garden. In the back of my mind I must have been remembering seeing photos of this installation, but when I'm drawing with charcoal, I'm always aware that it is burnt wood that I am handling. Ashes on snow feels alot like charcoal on paper. I liked the idea of making this impermanent portrait in nature from materials that are organic - it seemed an especially fitting start to this venture of honoring (my mother's, and all of our) transient life. I also need to honor my creative process each day and welcome without judgement whatever private rituals I feel compelled to perform as I work through losing my mother...

10 comments:

KaHolly said...

You are so creative! I'm loving this ingenious idea of yours. You blow me away sometimes! (Hey, did Lisbeth get my Xmas card?)~karen

annell said...

What a beautiful way to remember, and call her name. "Mary said, It is very hard what we do, and we need you to remember and call our names."

- Celes - said...

This is really beautiful. It sincerely brought tears to my eyes.

Susan Beauchemin said...

Nice--therapeutic--and looks like fun? The ashes drawn with your intent will seep into your garden to enhance the dirt for the spring--that would be cool if a whole little cluster of mums come up in that spot!

artslice said...

Wow, this is such a cool thing... and ashes what a metaphor. (paired with the snow, I thought about Wyth's Spring Thaw painting).

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I think the project sounds uplifting and cathardic. You are very brave to take this on - it's never easy... facing death. (like I really know -not- but it's just a tough subject) Very cute photo of you two... and your pregnant tummy! :)

Happy New Year, Martha!
~Brenda

martha miller said...

Hi Karen

Thankyou! I will have to check with Lisbeth's staff about your card - we are taking her out to dinner tonight. I know that Lisbeth LOVES to get mail, but doesn't always understand who it's from. THANKYOU for thinking of her!! xo

martha miller said...

Hi Annell

Yes, to call her name is a powerful thing. Thankyou for that quote - so beautiful. xo

martha miller said...

Hi Celes

Thankyou, and thanks for stopping by!

martha miller said...

Hi Sue

Hee hee! Mums! Love it. Yes, it's very theraputic and satisfying.

martha miller said...

Hi Brenda

I will have to look up that Wyeth painting. Yes, this feels like a healthy way for me to face Mom's death. I have such a strong need to create no matter what the circumstances. Love your painted quilts!!