Like so many of the things we see everyday I have rediscovered two of the items in my living room. They have been hanging on my walls for almost half my life- and there are long periods of time when I cease to see them.
I have been welding since I was 12, but I have been watching my dad weld since I was allowed down to the “Clampit area”(my mom’s name for the welding shed and surrounding accouterment.)
From a very young age I had the privilege of watching unbendable steal- soften, liquify and sometimes explode into a shower of sparks leaving nothingness in its wake.
There is magic in that process. Something most benefit from but rarely if ever witness, never mind get their hands on. After my initial education and resulting equipment testing (all conducted by my dad) I was allowed hours of time melting, bending, joining and generally screwing around with molten metal.
I would spend entire days down there in my time off from school often listening repeatedly to Bob Segar for reasons I don’t remember now. I loved a style of sculpture my dad had dubbed “rod to rod.” Where you use the coper coated steal rods normally used to add metal when joining two larger pieces of steal and make objects and pictures out of them.
I made many things that are now rusting in my parent’s garden back home but two of the wall pieces I did have always come with me. For years I thought that this was because they were unfinished.
The tree on a hill has been a reoccurring image in my life. This is mostly because I can’t seem to stop drawing it. These particular renditions are a day and night set of ‘The Tree.’ I did both of them when I was 15 or so though only one is signed and dated.
I always considered these unfinished and I told myself that I displayed them to remind me to one day get them done. Growing up in the redwoods these trees were simply not complete, they had no leaves… trees have leaves.
I was wrong about that and so many other things.
After the move East I realized that many trees spend a good bunch of the year with no leaves, none! For a girl born beneath the bows of old growth redwoods this WAS a revelation.
My creations were not incomplete in the way I thought they were. This was quite an interesting turn of events.
A paradigm shift.
I had drawn trees from the land where I would end up buying a house without realizing it, more than a decade earlier.
I decided to finish them in another way, COLOR!
First I painted the steal with gold and silver. Then I painted back grounds for them on canvas and color exploded through my old familiar friends.
I even rediscovered on of my favorite details of the night piece, the tip of the tree reflected in the water.
It turned out that my intentions had little to do with the final creation. I believe that if I had forced my original thoughts upon them the result would have been diminished.
It turned out these things I love so dearly were made of metal, paint, love and TIME all in balanced proportion. It was this interaction of elements that made them what they are now.
Not only that but it elevated these items into things that remind me daily- I often have no clue what I am doing or where I am headed and that it’s ok. Life becomes greater only if you let go of expectations and allow it tell you what you are meant to be.
At least it worked in these two cases and I will leave it at that.