Marisa D. Aceves. Grandmother’s House: 1st Bedroom. digital photography
article by Marisa D. Aceves
For the last three months our minds, hearts, and lives have been tied up in preparing Eloisa’s house for sale.
Although things have slowed down considerably, I have still managed to find solace in faithfully recording some small treasures and a few rooms that remind me of my grandmother’s love.
We will make the long trip to her house again this coming week, but the journey will be a bittersweet one.
Potential buyers will traipse through the long corridor with its’ gold linoleum floors, gradually making their way through the living room, bedroom, kitchen and bath.
Eloisa was not her house; it was only a place she occupied for a certain period of time.
She has been gone for fourteen years, yet our memories of her remain.
It is not as though she sat up one day and announced that she was going to have a wonderful life and endear herself to many of the people that she came into contact with, but that is exactly what she did and all within the small, intimate confines of a typical Texas neighborhood.
The world may find the existence of an ordinary housewife boring even inconsequential.
“There’s not much of a story to tell”, they’d say under their breath preferring to read and write about flamboyant, drunken playwrights or headstrong, oversexed politicians.
There is a story to tell.
While the majority of the world may lack the imagination to see the overlooked beauty and profoundness of everyday occurrences, my grandmother knew that it is a series of small moments that make up our lives not just a couple of huge, game changing events.
If we can maintain a constant attitude of gratefulness for each and every second we are blessed to experience, we will never lose the child-like sense of wonder that leads to happiness.
She grew up sheltered from the persistent pessimism of her day.
Simple swatches of left-over wrapping paper were saved fastidiously, but not out of fear that she would not have enough of the everyday necessities we often take for granted.
“Someone else will need them!,” she would say as she carefully cut the small pieces of tape that sealed her latest birthday present, gently folding the paper into a neat rectangle for a neighbors future use.
Whenever someone was hungry, she always had beans, buttery tortillas and pinched star cookies ready to take home.
My grandmother lived her life for others; the majority of the things she did or said revolved around what was best for them.
She never judged you because you had problems; she would always pray for you and give you a big hug when you were ready to leave.
Eloisa’s legacy was a life of unconditional love and acceptance; it was a life steeped in spiritual simplicity.
Our legacy might be a different one than my grandmother’s, but all of us have an intense longing to be loved and remembered.
We want to know that somehow in this crazy, unpredictable world we made a difference.
What is your artistic legacy?
Is your work a way of life?
Does it illustrate your dreams, fears, and hopes?
What does it reveal about the way you view yourself and others?
Will you make a name for yourself and die lonely, or will you end this life with gratitude surrounded by friends and family?
Can you really have it all or do you believe you must sacrifice everything for your art?
These are questions only you can answer?
Perhaps your legacy will be based on a mantra you invent when you’re sixteen years old or maybe like Eloisa you will simply live an artful life that speaks for itself.
Marisa D. Aceves, “Object 180”, Digital Photography
Many of us dream of creating that elusive,..
near perfect masterpiece..
..that will instantly burn it’s bright light into the minds of dozens of fortunate visitors that happen to stumble upon our professional websites.
We like to imagine that they would rabidly share the next generations’ “Leonardo”,”Van Gogh”, or “Picasso”…
..and perhaps they would, …
..if they only recognized it…
Virtually none of us dream of creating a ridiculous, amateurish monstrosity that slaps us in the face like an immature cheese and mocks us through its’ very existence.
Like a desperate bird that never made it out of a dangerous mine, it’s starved of oxygen;…
It lacks those life giving properties that all great art possesses….
We see this evil, unfortunate child of ours.
Instantly, we want to pitch it in the fire as if it had never been born…
..and yet, it is ours..
We own it because we created it.
Creating is a form of love.
We create to live.
We create for the sheer joy of creating.
So why do so many of us unfairly judge almost all of our efforts?
Some might say “quality control” and in some strange way, they might be right or as Mick Jagger likes to sing,…they might be crazy. However, if you never allow yourself to freely create that dreaded “cheese” painting,photo,sculpture,etc., you’ll never find your “radiant child”. It’s been my experience that “bad art” happens when we consciously try to create masterpieces, unconsciously editing out all the imperfect, clumsy, soul bearing goodness that makes us sit up and say “Wow, that is so true.” When we deprive ourselves and others of that moment, we run the risk of both losing ourselves and suppressing our humanity. Our humanity makes us real; it makes us accessible to others. Don’t be a victim of perfectionism. Perfectionism stinks. It’s a vicious, unrelenting thief that steals your joy first, then it steals the Art out of your art. Nothing brilliant, can come from this. Instead, allow a small space in your day to create art with the heart and trust of a child that never knew that so called “bad art” could ever or would ever exist. Be brave enough to love your “bad art”. It won’t kill you. It will free you from the imposed mental slavery of self-doubt. It will free you from reliance on the approval of others. Today’s “bad art” may be the key to tomorrows’ masterpiece.
*If you have any comments or questions about this article, feel free to contact me. I’d love to hear from you.
No matter what your profession is in life, there will come a time when you have to learn a new set of skills or you are forced to participate, kicking, screaming, pulling your hair out and gnashing you teeth in an entirely new situation that you can neither avoid nor put off for next week. When we realize procrastination is not an option, we must learn to be both flexible and sensible about the tasks ahead. However, if we change our point of view and look at the skills, the knowledge and new relationships we can gain from these experiences, we can begin to view sometimes difficult situations in a more positive light. As an artist, I find that I am always having to adjust to different situations in the market place. I have sold art in a gallery setting, and to private collectors, but I am still learning how to create my own unique presence online. The marketplace for selling art has changed. With the advent of social media, artists like other business professionals must learn to sell their work on various different platforms. At first, I was excited about learning about the world of internet marketing, because I strongly believe that we can reach out to more people who need encouragement and share our unique point of view and passion. Then, as soon as the sky had opened up and poured opportunities for learning upon my weary head, various doubts and worries began to fill it and I was trying everything that I could to focus on how grateful I was to receive the help that I needed at the time that I needed it. I literally had to sit myself down and think about the many different reasons why I created art. Had art found me or had I found art? Nevertheless, I remembered that I created art because I wanted others to see the extraordinary in what they perceived was ordinary, unimpressive, everyday life. If we learn to do this, we will always have a grateful, feasting heart, because we will recognize the extraordinary in others as well as ourselves. When I created this particular piece in enamels, I was initially disappointed in the size of the piece, because I was completely sold on the idea that unless a work is grandiose in size, it has no impact, but that is just not true. Sometimes, smaller paintings, photographs etc. that you can easily carry or hold in your hand have a sense or feeling of intimacy that larger paintings cannot always deliver. I have also noticed this same principle at work when observing life. It is not always those that shout the loudest that make the biggest impact over time, but those that plant their genuine seeds of wisdom, love, perseverance, and compassion.
As always, feel free to share your individual thoughts and experiences with this subject! I’d love to hear from you!
In my constant search for that one special object to photograph, I often run into an annoying phenomenon I affectionately like to call photographers block. When this happens, I usually turn my focus to writing or painting, but this time I felt that urge to use my camera again. I painted on and on as an increasing sense of urgency continued to plague me throughout the Thanksgiving week. Finally, my mother and I decided to take a break from our schedules to visit my aunt. During this visit, my aunt surprised my mother with a beautiful ruby red poinsettia plant wrapped in a floral foil of the same color. Although the graceful folds of the poinsettia leaves intrigued me, the foil fought for my attention and won. The photo above is the result. It reminds me that when we give a gift out of love, we inspire others to give. Sometimes the gifts give, especially when they teach us to see beauty in different and unique ways. They remind us that we are loved, they encourage us to love others, and they inspire us to create art.