It was blustery. I thought about the slowest way I could possibly drive to the Esker Foundation, located on 9th. I have attended other events related to the exhibit (film viewing, panel discussion, artist talk) since the opening of Fiction/Non-fiction. There was no way weather was going to keep me from a painting opportunity where Brenda Draney would be doing some sharing…some wandering…some listening. Everything I’ve been ‘incubating’ about since Mom’s passing (story, connection, identity, loss), would be a part of the afternoon’s experience…so, I was going to forge through the weather, regardless.
Once I arrived, I chose a seat that faced out toward the street…wide, tall windows stretched before me. I could see onto the neighbouring roofs and watch the snow blowing. Above me, the pod that houses the administrative space…a nest-like feature, caused an immediate sense of comfort and coziness. Meeting Sharon, the artist across from me, led to a very quick and impact-full connection. I felt happy.
I had dumped a pile of old black and whites into a zip lock bag before leaving home and proceeded to shuffle through them, looking for references. It didn’t take me long. I won’t go into details…I won’t share the stories that connect me with the images…but, I will say that there was an immediacy. Topics shared on my visits with Brenda and Sharon yesterday afternoon included, but certainly weren’t limited to; identity, memory, stories, mothers, objects of affection, nostalgia, art, teaching, journals, writing, voice.
At the conclusion of the afternoon, I felt so empowered and so grateful. Brenda Draney is like an angel who was brought into my circle for the purpose of some reflection…some connection and some healing. It was the most delicious of afternoons, and certainly a gift to myself. Thank you, Brenda.
Technically speaking, it was a tricky thing to choose to use greys for the entire day…but, this session wasn’t so much about the technical aspects of watercolour (a completely foreign medium), but about meaning. I spoke to Sharon about the curtains that Mom had sewed on her treadle sewing machine, even when we were in military-poverty in those early years living in Ste. Sylvestre, Quebec.