Today I dropped off two pieces to WAAM in Woodstock, and was a bit overwhelmed by the amount of artwork that had to be juried, much of it by well known and prolific artists. I felt rather insignificant amidst the rooms full of art, so I am bracing myself for rejection, something that I have not experienced in a while. Rejection however, keeps me humble, God forbid I might ever have any kind of an artist ego.
This is the first time I submitted art for the main and small gallery that were of the same subject matter, these being part of the series of works in different medium of little bungalows on Route 28 that I used to ride past every day as a teen on the school bus. They tell a tale of another time, a time whose frayed cord is about to be severed with the future sale of one of the last of the properties my family owned in the sleepy little town of Phoenicia - a little red cabin on the creek, the very cabin I stayed in as a child.
These bungalows, acutally any Catskill Mountain bungalows, remind me of my childhood, when a sad little girl from Long Island fell in love with nature, the Lone Pine, a little red cabin, the Esopus Creek, the taste of fresh picked blueberries and concord grapes. My grandmother's ghost, and that of her two sisters live in those memories, as well as the feel of the wind as I ran wild around the yard, and the shock and power of the cold waters of the creek.
I can still smell the roses, the newly mowed lawn, the dampness of the carport, and the dank odor of the swamp that I passed on the way to the creek. I can still feel the brief fear that I had every time I had to climb over the rough broken wall destroyed by a flood in the 50's, which led to the creek. If you fell off you were in a thicket of brambles, skunk cabbage, and unknown creatures that lived in the dense undergrowth. I still hear the thunderstorms on hot summer nights, whose fierce echos bounced off the mountains, making me travel deeper under the covers.
I will soon own 1/12th of the property, whose decaying cabin needs to be torn down. The wall is long overgrown, the blueberry bush gone from lack of care and light. The last flood destroyed the yard, and the stone wall and path are overgrown and not to be easily discovered. No one in the family has the money to renovate the cabin, and pay the taxes, so come spring, we will probably sell it.
I am not done with my series of art of such cabins,and come spring, when the snows have melted, I will make a trip to see the little red cabin, so that I can photograph it and paint it back to a prettier time.
And if my art is rejected, I will gladly steal it away, and hang them in a spot in my house reserved for such memories.