Last weekend I picked up the most beautiful black linen apron made by my friend Kelly at Shining Studio Pottery. I love it so much I'm not sure what I'll do when paint gets on it, as it always inevitably does. Oh well...at least I get to enjoy it as is for now.
After preparing a canvas by applying layers of colour and pattern to the background, I find that I get a little 'stuck' when I need to move forward. When I finally transfer the image to the base, I get excited to add shadows and it is at this point I often consider stopping. I really like how the image looks at this stage, though I know it isn't complete. Perhaps someday I will create a little collection of portraits like this, but, for now I know it's just one of the many steps along the way. One of my favourite steps, actually.
Easter this year has been much harder for me. With not being able to spend it with my grandfather it takes me back to easter in the past with my Nanna and Poppa. It’s made me miss her more than I thought possible and today my heart hurts more than it has in a long time. I miss her meals; I miss her voice which I’ve nearly forgotten now. It’s been 20 years this July and yet it hurts as though it just happened. Wind beneath my wings was my song to her. Beaches was a movie she and until she passed away, I never knew why the song had been one of her favorites. Now I listen and bawl. She was always putting me first she always took care of me and my needs before her own. She was the wind beneath my wings she keeps me alive. I get it now. I just wish I could tell her I get it. The hardest part is knowing that her beautiful great grand daughter Mackenzie Murphy who was not even 2 when she passed away, will never know what an incredible woman she was or how much she lived and loved her. Mackenzie became her life; she couldn’t stop showing her off or talking about her to anyone she met. She was so excited about Mackenzie and yet she only got 1 year with her. Mackenzie will never know how beautiful her grandmother was, how smart she was and how much fun she was to be around. But I take solace in the fact Kenzie is exactly like her grandmother, she’s stubborn, she’s determined and just as beautiful. I know my Nanna would be so proud of her great grand daughter and I know she’s watching out for her and protecting her. But god I miss her.
When I was young, as far back as I can remember I always had naps with her. Laying beside her sure she’d snore in my ear but for some reason it soothes me. Even when I got pregnant, I crawled into bed with my Nanna just to hear that. When I had Mackenzie its like the tradition continued because Kenzie took naps with Nanna, the generation torch had been passed. The moment I saw her for my final goodbye, it wasn’t a shock that my last moments before she passed away, I had to share just one last cuddle with her again. I crawled into the hospital bed I laid my head on her chest. I wrapped her arms around me one last time and I laid there for an hour. Even through my greatest pain I was transported back in time to the most wonderful childhood ever. She was just and remains the greatest woman and my hero forever. She was an RN and raised in rural Wynyard, SK. She volunteered right up until she got sick. She loved dogs especially her dog Libby who passed away nearly 35 years ago. And she loved my daughter Mackenzie. She only had 1 ½ years with her but the bond they shared was evident to everyone.
~ Tara Murphy
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +