Mixed media on canvas: Leaves from Stanley park, the West End, Van Dusen botanical gardens. Feathers from all over the world, buttons from my Granny’s button collection she gave me, hand-knit little wool sweater, corduroy shorts, socks, baby bib, flowers, a dried out dragon fly I preserved, gold leaf. The treasures are endless as a child playing in the autumn leaves.
This piece was such an adventure to create! And it has such a huge sentiment to me seeing as I started it while on my honey moon, worked on it throughout my pregnancy (when I could, seeing as I had a high risk pregnancy and was on bed rest) and finished it after my son was born.
The baby’s face was painted on a piece of hand made cotton paper from a few very lovely women in Luang Prabang, Laos. My poor husband put up with me carrying a huge roll of this paper every place we went while traveling it was sticking out from under my arm (in a literal sense a lot of sweat and tears went into this one…lol). I remember almost loosing it a few times while putting it down in markets or bus and train stops and running back to find it. I began painting the baby’s face on a beautiful stone table in Fort Canning park in Singapore. I remember it being so hot outside and the feeling of the cool stone table and bench were so refreshing. My husband just sat and watched me paint that little face for hours… I remember it started to get dark and it was getting hard to see the little face on the paper anymore.
Most of the leaves were found while my husband and brother took me for walks in my wheelchair while I was pregnant. (I was wheel chair bound which was an amazing learning experience about wheelchair accessibility in this beautiful city). We went everywhere with that chair, I had the perfect view of all the amazing foliage to be placed in this piece. We collected bags and bags (like a hollowed out shell of a dragon fly found in Stanley Park). Every walk I was like a child pointing at this and that to go into my goody bag! Ha ha… When I look back at theses moments now they were the ones that eased my nerves and added smiles and giggles to such a stressful time. This piece is filled with so many loving memories, so many moments of uncertainty with my sons life and our future. To see the buttons from my Granny’s button collection, that I loved so much playing with as a child. Sneaking into her sewing basket and sorting throughout them like a treasure box. And right beside those buttons are a pair of my son’s socks that he wore in the hospital right after he was born. To know these stories, this love that each item acquires, I hope brings the same warm fuzzies I feel when I look at is piece.