Monday, December 30, 2019

Happy 2020!

3 Generations in Art...

Read this then click here to see the slide show.
(Best to download and watch on a big screen)

I know I think of us
As three generations...
But perhaps I should admit
We are maybe five.

It started with our family's
Own Elizabeth the First...
My great-grandmother.
She was a typesetter
Originally from Cambridge
Transplanted to Calvert, Texas,
And married to a newspaperman.
All four of their daughters
Learned to set type.
Of course.
I have samples of some
Of their childhood efforts.
My grandmother, one of those
In that typesetting bevy, died after
Giving birth to my mum.
My mum, then, became
Our family's own Elizabeth the Second.

Reared by her typesetting grannie
And two of those typesetting aunties,
My mum eventually became an architect.
At a time when women seldom ventured
Out of their homemaking roles,
She designed houses and clinics and schools
In Dallas, Texas.
She took up painting after I married and
Released her from a myriad of mothering tasks.
I had taken up painting, in university
In San Antonio, Texas,
Where I had majored in Sculpture.
But it was graphic design, mostly for packaging,
That became my focus, with little forays
Into oils and acrylics...
And designing an actual home in Toronto.
Years and a couple of trans-Pacific moves later,
I had my own daughter.
She later attended
An arts high school in Toronto,
Where she, too, took up painting—and more—before
She ventured into the work of becoming
A full-fledged mathematician:
Dr. Kate, now with tenure!

On this month's calendar, I show you
Some of my mum's work,
Plus a couple of Kate's and mine.
My mum always said Kate would
Out-shine both of us... indeed
She continues to do just that.

I've made a slide show I'm calling
Elizabeth, Kate, & Me—3 Generations in Art.
Download it and have a look.

It shows you some more of my mum's paintings
As well as more of Kate's and my art...
Paintings and more. Kate's selection
Even includes some book covers
She's created, just for fun, for some books
She particularly enjoyed reading this past year.
My own packaging production design
Belongs to my clients, so I can't show you...
But if you've ever gone shopping for groceries
In Wal-Mart in the US or Latin America or Germany...
Or Sobey's or Metro stores in Canada...
You've seen some of my work.
All-in-all, then, we three generations
Have a history of making stuff.
We're such show-offs, eh?

I want to thank Steve-Paul Simms
For letting me use his song, Lillian's Girls,
In my slide show. Steve-Paul is a very talented
Singer & songwriter... and my friend
For two decades. Steve-Paul is himself
In the throes of creation: his new album,
Ingrid and the Messenger Boy
Is due out in March. His previous albums are
Wall of Illusion (1999), Open City (2005) and Palpable Hits (2006).
Those of us in Toronto can catch him next
At the Tranzac on Sunday, Jan 26th, from 5-7 pm.

Have a great 2020, my friends,
And let us all see any stuff you create this year.
Let's all make 2020
The Year of the Show-Offs
And fill the world with joy and excitement.

If this isn't nice, what is?

              ~ Kurt Vonnegut, of course

P.S. I've cut my hair. Look at my new profile pic.