Saturday, February 11, 2012

Living the Life of an Artist

These past few months have been some of the toughest times in my life. My mother declined and passed away on Christmas day. She was on a gradual downhill roll and then reached a steep drop off. Her last two months were horrendous for both of us.

Now I am picking up pieces, clearing out space, and moving on. I have my moments when the sadness, regrets, and wish I should haves take over. Tears fall and sometimes I never know when they’ll come. Such is the grieving process.

In between getting used to be without my mother and working towards this year’s art shows, I am redesigning my living space. My mother was a collector. This week I am going through jewelry; her personal pieces, things she saved of my aunt’s, items they found at the beach coin finding or bought at flea markets. It’s amazing how much they had accumulated.

I’ve spent the week sorting into bracelets, rings, cuff links, earrings, pins, and necklaces, etc. Necklaces have been sorted further between gold looking pieces, silver, chokers, beads and pearls, and pendants. I have a box of religious items, a box of military/American Legion items, and many odds and ends. It’s overwhelming.

I am fascinated by some of the older items like rhinestone sets. I don’t think these have much value and the artist’s eye kicks in. I’m intrigued at the thought of using these in multimedia art work. Then there are the broken necklaces and stones that have fallen out. In the collection there are a few pieces that look to be about the 50 or 60s period and still good. I really like them and don’t want to let them go. I don’t know that anyone would wear them and again, I am intrigued by the idea of using the pieces in art.

I’m not much of a jewelry wearer myself, but I love the beauty and designs. I use them as wall decorations. The plan is to get rid of all that I don’t care for and keep some of the nicer pieces and those that I want to use in art.

To the collections, I added things from my own boxes, pieces I’ve had since childhood. I am wondering why I saved them all these years. Because I thought I was supposed to? Because some boy I no longer remember gave me a ring or chain? Most of those pieces have no value and are not in good shape. Chains are pitted and rings discolored. They’re just junk jewelry.

Then there are jewelry boxes. I really don’t want to hold on to things just because they were given to me and this made me wonder why I have done so. This might have to do with self worth. I must have been worthy for someone to give me gifts. Holding onto these things remind me that I was worth something to someone at one time. Is this especially so at a time in my life when I am no longer given gifts?

Yes, something to think about. In one aspect, I could say, okay I’ve thought about it, move on and not dwell on it. However, I have decisions to make. Do I continue to hold onto this stuff? For what? Or do I just pick out the things that are appealing to me now and get rid of everything else?

After dealing with all of my mother’s collections, I am very aware of all the things we accumulate. I need to downsize my house and what’s the point of holding onto all kinds of stuff. My life right now is all about the art work. I don’t need all this other stuff. It just clutters and takes up space. So, if it’s not going to go towards art work, decorating my walls, or be something useful, it’s going to go.

Yes, I will keep a couple things for sentimental reasons, especially if given to me by my mother or father.

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