Hi. Meet me, Erika, (in purple). And my Mom, Eunice (in black). This page is dedicated to her. She is, and always will be, my Featured Artist.
A very charming tourist took this picture of us at the steps of the Art Institute in Chicago. Just before we were going to check out a Gallery Talk about a remarkable artist, James Castle.
He was an outsider.
Outsider. That’s the term they use for people who may not have had “formal” training, but the Spirit of Art is so irrepressible… so wildly alive within them, that it bursts forth anyway. Despite the absence of technical training and “finer points.” For them, creating is akin to breathing. It’s not a hobby, but a necessary function.
In the case of Castle, he didn’t have drawing tablets or sketching pads, so he opened the boxes of toothpaste… and the packages of panty-hoses… and used their white insides as his canvas.
He would not be stopped.
He didn’t have fancy oils, pastels, or watercolors. So he used his spit. And soot from a wood-burning stove.
He would not be stopped.
And even though my Mom isn’t deaf (like he was), or live on a farm (like he did), she has a lot in common with him.
She will not be stopped, either.
There’s been a lot of loss… of a soul-crushing nature… and yet, did you see that luminous smile above? Believe me when I tell you, comfort and security is not what fuels that smile of hers.
It’s something more. The same place of inventiveness and innovation that would marry spit and soot to create art. My Mom pretty much lives there.
Her birthday is in July. Near this time, we were both seeking big transformation in our lives and the ability to see and act beyond illusion. Dragonflies represent this wisdom and embody this energy so, as a cheerful, visual reminder of our aspirations, I got her this balloon on her birthday.
She really took a liking to him, and even named him… Drago.
Time progressed and, despite her attachment, by the time my birthday rolled around three months later in October, Drago was all outta air. But, not surprisingly, my Mom created a way for us to remember him…
That’s what a lot of people do when they see Drago’s progression. So unexpected. And pleasing. And what she did with Drago is a tiny taste of the magic stored in her fingers. Look below, where the first image is a photographed object, and the second image is her hand-drawing of that photographed object.
Eunice is available for commissioned work — commercial or residential. She welcomes your e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to being an amazing visual artist, my Mom is also a powerful poet. She wrote “Peace for All” specifically for the International Day of Peace, which is September 21st of each year.
PEACE FOR ALL
… Dedicated to all entities experiencing dissension with each other.
On this day, we’re obliged to guide
Peaceful intents to each other;
Proving that, to each earthly soul,
We’re linked as a human brother.
As we go, relentlessly bound
To execute personal will;
Our neighbor, let’s diminish not,
Who stands on the farthermost hill.
Co-tenants we are, on this orb;
Traversing here all together.
So we should, in our varied goals,
Co-exist in peaceful tether.
Divisive, man-made markers of
Linguistics, religion, or space;
In this age, should never succeed,
Humanity’s bond, to erase.
In the end, we will be reviewed
By the great light that we have sought.
We will see: Its source — free to all,
Is One by whom we all are wrought.
Copyright © Eunice F. Harris. All rights reserved.