As a Canadian artist, The Journey to Remembrance, was inspired by these many journeys; my own, my family, my community, my country and world events during the dark time of First World War.Read More
I have been thinking about my childhood series and contemplating the inclusion of the children’s hands in several of the paintings. In many ways, I believe the small hands are the subject, the inspiration behind what is taking place. My own hands have played an obvious role in my life as tools of creativity. Even as a child, making and doing have always been a part of my being. Funnily enough, my childhood favourite animal was a monkey…then a raccoon, both creatures that use their own “hands” often.
When my children were born their tiny hands fascinated me as their miniature grip held my finger. As they learned to grasp the object they wanted, as their pincher fingers began to pick up the tiniest of things, it was magical watching them further explore using their hands to further their independence. It caused me to remember my own childhood hands, creative and full of discovery in nature lifting rocks, catching minnows, making shadow shapes with a flashlight.
Seeing my children’s little hands continued to enchant me as they grew, exploring the world around them, picking up stones like jewels, a discovery of a stick seemingly as precious as a bar of gold. Holding my hand like it was the most important thing to do – symbolic of the security they felt within the grasp of my own larger hand. These little hands that looked like my own, resembling and symbolizing my own childhood.
Once as a mother I remember there was a stage I worried about when my baby son would be able to use a spoon? Would he have the control to do it? Fast forward years later and he is forging knives – using those hands in a way I never would have imagined. I watch my daughter dance using her hands so lyrically each finger a graceful dancer on its own.
Magical hands that wipe away a tear, pop a bubble, tie a knot, clap and snap. Feel the texture, the cold of the window in winter, the warm cup of tea, the soft fur of our pet dog, a gentle feather’s touch. When we walk my daughter holds my hand in hers, her hand is slowly growing each year, but still much smaller than mine. Ten and she still likes to hold hands while we walk – something to cherish as perhaps these days are numbered or maybe not? Until then, I will enjoy as I reminisce.
Are you enchanted by little hands?
Over the years I've completed several commissions for people worldwide who had reached out to me with treasured memories of their loved ones - many who had passed away.Read More
It takes courage to deal with the invisible cloak of mental illness for the person suffering and also for their loved ones.Read More
I grew up with positive sayings adorning the walls on our house – way before they were in vogue. Not to judge this era, I love these modern & beautiful images, they continue to be ready reminders to pause and reboot my thoughts. But when I was growing up, Dad wrote these mantras with his thin red marker on rectangular cards all over his home office. When I began to dabble in calligraphy as a teen, he had me re-write some of them.Read More
When I’m asked how long have you been making art? I pause as the question seems the same as someone asking how long I’ve had my hands. But asking when I did I begin to believe in myself as an artist? An entirely different question.Read More
The Journey to Remembrance continues its own journey as I have loaned the painting indefinitely at The Military Museums of Calgary as I seek a buyer.
I love the symbolism of where the painting is currently being displayed. As one leaves The Founder's Gallery, the image appears in the distance. Walking towards these soldiers, the viewer begins to walk with them until reaching the painting to contemplate their own journey to remembrance.
Perhaps this journey for some begins very quickly...for people like myself, those ah ha moments take time to become tangible. Then they are so tangible that wearing the poppy no longer feels like quite enough and there is an urgency to do more.
Completing The Journey to Remembrance was a 10 month experience. During this time of working on the 5ft x 6ft painting, I took progressive photos that I have combined to create a photo journal showing the "journey" of creating the painting.
As you can see my sky started out completely different! After deciding it was far too dark and ominous, it required a major re-do. Further descriptions can be found on each photo in my album on my Deanna Lavoie - Artist facebook page.