All Mixed Up

Sep 13, 2017

When last I wrote I was in the throes of an artist's block. Yes, that damn petal was driving me to blog. And in the end the blog turned out to be about letting go of expectations.

I'm not sure how I did it, but I nailed the hurdle (you'll tell me if I didn't) and finally finished the tetraptych or quadriptych, which according to Wikipedia are interchangeably used for a four-panel piece such as this. I vacillate between the two depending on which word I can remember to spell at the moment...but I digress.

Many years ago I moved from east to west to live close to my parents after a marriage, a divorce, numerous jobs, cats, dogs, and three children away. I was there to say goodbye to my father and to meet my mother as a whole human being for the first time in my life. She turned out to be an amalgam of strength and fear, hilarity and timidity, love and bitterness. And she had the softest hands I've ever been graced to have held. She was a difficult woman to be sure: insecure, needy and demanding but loving and devoted. She blesses and tortures me still. Even last night she came to me in a nightmare of sorts!

My first post about this four-in-one painting was how they had come to represent my three sisters and me. Each unique and yet cut from the same cloth. I had expected that's how I'd end up thinking about them in the end. But as usual, I didn't. Not exactly, that is. Expectations dashed once again.

In the end I couldn't put them back into place, I preferred to see them all mixed up. They shine in this way, I think. It causes me, at least, to look at them in a different way.

So maybe they do tell the tale of my sisters and me after all. Maybe I'm looking at us all in new ways now as we are all now solidly in the autumn of our lives... in the same way I had the privilege of looking at my mother in the years before she died. She's in there among the petals, you know, especially the difficult ones, the ones I needed to perfect, most likely just for her.

Paintings: Family [quadriptych] © Lissa Banks 2017

Note: Individual paintings clockwise from top left: Family 1, Family 2, Family 3, Family 4 all © Lissa Banks 2017.