Friday, March 21, 2014

Arrested development

This sweet boy just turned 13.

Over the past few weeks I've noticed him revisiting favorite things from his younger years.  On the brink of mysterious and unknown adolescence, there's comfort in the safe and familiar.

This is the conversation we had the night before his birthday...
Him:  When I wake up tomorrow I'll be a teenager
Me:  What will that feel like?
Him:  Weird
Me:  You know what's even weirder?  When I wake up tomorrow I'll be the mother of a teenager.  It's weird because I don't really feel that much older than 13.
Him:  You don't really seem that much older than 13.
Me:  ummmm.....thanks?????
Him:  don't worry, that's a good thing.

So there you have it.
It's evident, even to my son, that for better or for worse, I'm a 13 year old trapped in a 46 year old's body. 

 And true to form, Max is not the only one doing some revisiting this week....
 I needed to send a sympathy card to a dear friend, and I wanted it to be hand made but I had no new ideas. Days were slipping by and I couldn't come up with anything I liked, and so I went back to some of my old work and made these three blank note cards:




Prior to this I'd been struggling to do something - anything - on canvas.
Feverish layers of paint...
No vision.... 
No direction....
Just frustration and a stack of ugly canvases leaning against the wall. 
(There may even have been hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing and profanity.)

It felt so good to take a break and do something that came easily to me that I just kept going with these small index card collages.   And no, you haven't seen these before.  (you've just seen these, these, and these)








No new ground has been broken, but I will take a lesson from the other 13 year old in the house and rather than berate myself, find pleasure and solace in the familiar, knowing there is big growth ahead.


  1. Happy Birrthday to Max -- the teenager!

  2. Congratulations to you both! Our children help us grow up...

  3. Collages #1 & 4 remind me topographic maps, love them. Happy Birthday to the teenager, and good luck with that! Several years ago Eva and Tatum asked me how old I was. I said guess, They guessed 10 1/2 years old. I went with it. My mom put 11 Birthday candles on my cake that year.

  4. Happy Birthday, Max! Believe one is asking YOU to grow-up! :P

  5. Happy birth day to you both!! I'll have a teenager in December... :-)

  6. It's interesting that such emphasis is made of 'becoming a teenager'. Don't remember it being so when I was small. He looks like a nice young boy. Happy birthday Max! If only we all kept the ideas of our childhood close in our art practice. What freedom we/d have! Love your collages.

  7. Growing up, they do, so fast. Happy Birthday to him.xox

  8. Well, for a 13-year-old you produce masses of wonderful artwork. That's a nice idea for your friend, a gift she can use (if what you mean by a notecard is one she can write on and send to a friend). Many of your cards have this lovely effect of looking very organic. Love them.

  9. fantastic collages karen. some of my favourites. I'm glad they brought you some artistic relief. I typically feel like I'm 12 so at least you're at least ahead of me! I hope Max had a great birthday, he sounds like a wonderful teenager. xx

  10. Cute post. Cute kid. Cute Mom and kid conversation. Love the collages/cards.

  11. Happy belated birthday to Max...I love the photo of your son!

  12. Happy belated birthday to Max...I love the photo of your son!

  13. So much to say about this post, but all I will say is: LOVE HIS HAIR!

    (now who's 13?)