It is beginning to heat up and summer is in the wind. I feel the oppressing dread of humidity and heat mixed together with torrid rain storms and tornadoes on the horizon. Spring is both glorious and petrifying in the South, and her people know no other way of life. We rarely enjoy a simple mild rain here, it is most often heralded with loud screeching tornado alarms , the hammering of the giant anvils in the sky, and a light show that would put any other pyrotechnics to shame.
I am coming off of the artistic high of a week of Mississippi Art Colony, it is my drug of choice. I indulge twice a year and leave with more inspiration and gratitude than can be measured. Around 40 or so artists of all mediums gather in the backwoods of Utica, Ms. to spend a week of art, design and a familial camaraderie that cannot be described in words. Art is competitive by nature, but among this group the competition is so laced with love, that it loses its sharp edge in the sharing of ideas and processes. It is a true gift and my addiction has been for a brief 12 years and I hope it never ends.
Back in the studio I am working on a series that has been on my mind for several months. It is odd how series begin for me, they are always centered on some experience in life and this is no different. I was reading the obituaries in our small town paper, when I noticed how gloriously written some were and how brief and succinct others were in the paper. I was taken by how some people accomplished so many things; and how in depth the family chose to portray it, often I think they might have even glorified it beyond what it actually might have been. There was one little obit about a lady, it appeared between two well written tombs of accomplishments of two other people that had also passed on to glory. My thought was how short and seemingly insignificant this little lady’s life had been, it read she was a wonderful person and a homemaker. That was it, she was survived by very few people; but what caught my eye was that she was a homemaker. In my mind I thought how absolutely important that job is, and how little space it garnered in the obituary. A homemaker is essential in life’s journey not for the person themselves, but for everyone they nurture. A home is a place to be born, live, leave, come home to, and sometimes die. It is often not realized but to be the homemaker, you often have to sacrifice a life of accomplishments in order to provide for others. It is with this thought about how little credence is given to probably the most important and self sacrificing job there is in life for any man or woman, that this series began. I am filling each painting with loads of symbolism and incorporating many of the my previous series into them in varying ways. The main focus is to not rush these; as they evolve daily and they seem to get richer and richer the longer I work them, much like a homemaker’s job, it is a constant creating and repairing process and no one really knows how much goes into it.
Homemaker: Pink Palaces
by Cathy Hegman acrylic on canvas on wood 50 x 40 by 2 inches
by Cathy Hegman acrylic on canvas on wood 50 x 40 x 2 inches
I have completed three paintings and have five more in varying stages of progression.
As always thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate your time!
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Great new content for a series, Cathy. LOL the “pink”. Remember when all the galleries said they couldn’t sell pink.
Yes I remember it well! LOL! You know how it goes..maybe this is the year of pink!
Homemakers are undervalued for sure. I am happy to see you taking up this important subject, Cathy. I was just reading an article today that made salient points about this issue. Perhaps you will find more inspiration in it, such as including a visible backbone on one of your figures!
Did you ever read books by Hazel Henderson and Riane Eisler? They have insights about economics I am sure you will resonate with.
Then there is Marilyn Warring. I read her book “If Women Counted,” in 1989, wheere she stated that women’s work and the value of Nature were not taken into account in modern economics.
All fascinating, very worthwhile, and still largely ignored by mainstream economists.
Thank you for the article! That was very interesting! I like the backbone idea for sure. I have not read anything by Hazel Henderson, Marilyn Warring, or Riane Eisler. My focus was less on the money or economics of the homemaker but more on the emotional stronghold a homemaker makes for a family. I tend to see a homemaker as genderless, so in some of my pieces the figure will be less female and more genderless and often male, as I don’t think gender plays a role in the ability to be a homemaker anymore…or at least I hope it does not. I tend to paint the female figure more because I am so familiar with it. I am enjoying the process right now of working in this series! Thank you for reading my blog! I appreciate your time, the link, and comment!