Thursday, September 14, 2006
My Patron Saint
My first art patron, Shari, models an art piece that augured Halfland's Tree.
My beautiful friend Shari and I have known each other for more than 20 years now. Twenty years full of life and learning, each in our own way. I lived with her in 1990 after my first divorce, crushing hard on the man who is now my husband, and completely adrift in terms of career, interests, direction. I was a meek, eccentric, capricious, frivolous, slightly delirious, irresponsible, flaky woman (I'm only one of those things now, guess which.) who felt a deep desire to express creativity and had positively no clue what that meant. Somehow, at that point, Shari commissioned me, my first, bless her heart, to create a fantasy soft-sculpture jacket for her.
She gave me a blank jacket she no longer cared for, scraps of fabrics, including bits of lace from her wedding gown with leaf shapes, and a snip of mink. As if a foreshadowing, I chose to make a woodland faery tree with and caterpillars and a tubby mole that is being hoisted up into the tree by faeries with wings made of pearlized plastic (new at the time). Again a tree. Again fanciful creatures. Hmm. This predates New York and the genesis of Halfland by far.
In any case, Shari paid me a lot of money to embellish that jacket for her at a time when I had never really made anything before. Her confidence and appreciation gave me validation and pride in what I could do. Inexplicably she has always been a champion of mine, a splendidly supportive friend. I guess that's what a real friend is. She saw something in me well before I could ever see it in myself.
She brought that jacket out during my visit to her home this afternoon, proudly pointing out the small details to her precious young daughter and son.
Thea models her mother's coat while all the creatures admire her back.