Ive just returned from a very lovely trip to visit my grandma, up in Ithaca (near Podunk ). My Grandma Ethel, among many other things, is an amazing artist...a painter. I think to explain what I love most about my grandma in the simplest way, is to explain the photo above. When I arrived yesterday we went into her studio to look at something on the computer, and as we sat I glanced down and saw a tiny moth sitting on top of a little brown book next to a magnifying glass. One might think it was just a little dead moth laying there forgotten, but I knew better... "Did you put this here?" I asked my grandma
"Oh yes!" she said smiling, and slid the magnifying glass over, "Look! Look at the gorgeous colors there on it's wings and body, the orange there on it's tail is just magnificent! Isn't it beautiful!?"
And it was! It really was such a beautiful little creature...the photo couldn't even capture it.
My Grandma has always been an artist, early on she painted gorgeous landscapes and still lifes, many of which captured the local beauty of the Finger Lakes region, and other places she had visited..but more recently she has begun the exploration of color and texture, delving into the realm of abstract art. By abstract I mean visually abstract, but extremely deep in concept and meaning... One of her series began when she started reading about the secret life of plants, and their cells and such. She studied photos of leaves and plants taken from under a microscope and I can remember her excitement in discovering this fascinating science. Then she began to read about insects and their intricacies. She explained fabulous facts, like how fireflies choose their mates..the females blinking their lights low in the grasses as the males fly over choosing the glow that appeals to them most...she did a gorgeous painting with two dragonflies in tandem..
I truly believe this to be the elixir of life...to always be in search of new discoveries and knowledge. Finding fresh excitement in things as an adult is a great gift...to be filled with a childlike thrill in discovering something new, or appreciating something as simple and perfect as the intricate wings of a moth, or the life of leaf.
I chose not to show any photos of her work here, because it is not my place to do so...but you can visit her web page here. My personal, all time favorite piece of this year is "Red Tide". She also has a very exciting show coming up at the State of The Art Gallery in Ithaca, NY which opens on February 1st. She will be sharing a new series, depicting the 12 moons of the year, inspired by the names that certain Native American tribes gave to each moon. It's going to be fabulous.
Here are a couple more little snapshots from her studio...
I love my grandma, and hope with all my heart that I am as young as she is, when I am her age;)
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