I’ve been meaning to do a family inspired series for a while now,
housed under the American Toile umbrella.

At first I thought maybe, for a change of pace, I would write a
collection of short stories, using an “Angela’s Ashes” model.  Unfortuately,
that is a project that a requires a strong constitution, quiet time to write,
and an objective eye that can look without judgement (all of which evade
me at the moment, especially the time factor).  For a visual art project, I
wanted it to fit into the arte povera scheme, but needed it to be faster than
burlap, and not as rough as slate....thus Plates and Broken Vessels was born. 

For autobiography in paint, I am using family heirlooms, cutlery, and cast off china settings, and I like the direction already. The plates and utensils are more than willing to jump out of their daily ware role into the arts.  The vessels are stoically waiting to be transformed. All take to the paint beautifully. Maybe down the road they will crack. But that suites me, and the theme, perfectly.

The inspiration for the "Broken Vessels" portion comes from a personal experience of several years ago.  I was on the fringes of a hoity-toity lecture, when a world renowned, well respected speaker addressed the scholarly female students in the group (maybe 20% of the whole) with  a “you are the vessels of your country”.   Vessels...  Now, I’m sure he meant it as a compliment. Something nice. An honor even.  It set me back on my heels, and hit my heart with the weight of The Handmaids Tale. It has stayed with me ever since.  

So there you have it.  Plates and Broken Vessels, with all my autobiographical accoutrements from a life weirdly lived.

Who knows, maybe one day I will make it on the map, the dish will run away with the spoon, and women will be viewed as more than vessels.

Till then?

I paint.

On plates.