Thursday, September 8, 2011

Neora Chana Rut: Four Flags

Neora writes:

I can't remember how I ran across the project, but have been following it for a couple of months and really enjoy the intention behind it.  I am a Reconstructionist Jew; in this form of Judaism, there is a great freedom to come up with new traditions or to adapt traditions and this falls so neatly into that. 
Four Flags
I ended up with 4 flags, and as is true of much of my artwork, started with only the vaguest of planning.  I primarily work in watercolor, but, remembering the project while in an art supplies store, I picked up some canvas.  Later, I started playing with watercolors on it and have been continuing to develop this on both canvas and muslin.  The color is very variable and uncontrollable with this process, so the images were later clarified with permanent markers before coating with gel medium.

Sundown Susans

The first was the black-eyed susans.  When I was a little girl, we would go from Greenwood, MS, to New Albany, MS to visit my maternal great-grandparents.  My mother, sibs, cousins and I would stop to picnic on a hill covered with these flowers and this has always stayed as a vivid memory.  However, while working on it, I also thought of people with dementia; if I was to name this one, I would call it 'sundown susans' in memory of that. 

The second was the peach.  My maternal grandmother did many unique things that were frugal yet very joyful and memorable.  A peach expresses this perfectly as she would pickle the peach and then make peach peel fried pies.  Very Southern and very frugal while enhancing life in a wonderful way.  What better way to be frugal?

Autumn Flowers
The sunflower was the third completed.  I had a brother 5 years younger than me, also an artist, who died when he was 29.  In his last trip to the US (he was living in Italy), we went back to the town where I went to middle school/high school and where he started school.  I had always perceived the area as rough, cold, hostile.  Driving into the area, he and his friend commented on how lush, fertile and vibrant the landscape was, especially the sunflowers.  I learned an important lesson about how emotions color perceptions that day.
Finally are the autumn flowers in memory of my mother.  My mother was a true Southern good girl to her very core and found it very hard to be away from MS while we lived in WI.  You could probably name on one hand the  things she found done/happening better in the North than the South.  One of those was autumn and the color display.  Her memory is even closer in the fall than at other times of the year.
I live in an apartment complex, so still have to figure out where I can hang them outside; the next part of this project.
I have just started a blog for my artwork called 'A Gracious Light'.  The address is

1 comment:

  1. These are beautiful, and bring some wonderfully warm feelings to my own heart! I am especially drawn to the sunflower flag, as I have always had a special affinity for them.. Thanks for sharing!