Before I ship off to Rockland for some wholesome surgery goodness:
I'm working on a stipple portrait of my Mum for Black and White. The assignment was to illustrate someone important to us, incorporating 3 elements of their lives in a black and white stipple piece. I chose my Mum because of her role in my life. When I was little, I remember her coming to pick me up at school at 6:30 every night, in a power suit and big black sunglasses, strutting across the playground as the strongest woman I knew. She recently beat breast cancer this year, a disease that her mother went through that I most likely will also go through. But because of her strength, I'm not afraid, and I'll kick the shit out of cancer if I even hear about it.
Her support since I was 8 about going to art school (we went to art classes together in matching turtlenecks, aww!) and her support now that I'm a big girl has been one of the few things keeping me sane. So here's my mum's portrait in sketch form. I'll post the finish when I'm done.
The rabbit symbolizes the children's book I've been working on with the rabbit characters, as we raised dozens of rabbits when I was a child and my very first stuffed animal is a big pink bunny named Bunny Bun-Bun. I had also written a poem about my sister when she was going through a lot of emotional problems about being a rabbit trapped in a cage when we lived in a California, only to be released and nervous and scared when we moved to Mass. I don't know - it's this really big thing in my life that's hard to explain. "Bamford" is more than just a word to me.
Speaking of Bamfords, I'm doing a commission for my sister Jessica of a coat of arms of the o'mighty Bamford name.
Bamford is an Irish name, as far as I know. I'm about 90% Irish, and me great grampy McQuinn was my grampy's daddy. So I WOULD have been a McQuinn if someone didn't have a random stint in England to change my last name to Bamford. But whatever.
My aunty Susan still lives in California, and she's probably my favorite relative. She does photo restoration in her spare time along with documenting the roots of the Bamford clan. She has books and binders and enormous amounts of information on my family history, hopefully something one of of younger kids will continue when she's too old to do so. She really truly understands me as human, so recreating this important element in our family history (probably in a more graphic, contemporary way) will be my part in continuing our name for future generations. It's always good to know where you came from, and maybe one day my great grandkids will think I was a good artist. They better respect me, or they'll be gettin' a whippin'.
I'm pretty much rambling at this point, so I may as well continue as a meditative thing for myself. Andy Fish gave me a ride to work today, which was really really really nice of him, because I totally could have walked, but there are creepy people in the Fens and I've already been nearly assaulted by enough homeless men this week. But he asked me if I was a nervous person, and I kind of puffed up like a threatened bird. No one's ever told me I seem nervous, or if I look uneasy. I'm usually the person who talks too much, or is too confident, or is overbearing. So it ruffled my feathers (to continue the bird analogy). I guess I'll just have to be more show-offy and overbearing from now on as to not embarass myself. (All I thought of in the car was, "Allison, don't swear as much as you normally do. He's your teacher." haha.)
I need to finish my homework. Away I go!!