May 9, 2017

Quite Surreal

It isn't very often that like a photo of myself, but recently, at our opening of ARTeFACTS ~ Connections to Wellington County, a dear friend happened to take that one photo that I actually love !
I wish I looked glamourous and younger, but I've finally accepted the fact that 'cripes, I'm no spring chicken ... nearly 70' !! And, in my new opinion, not looking too bad for 11 mos. short of 70, still standing and still waking up on this side of the dirt.
Margaret Davidson Deacon and her gr.granddaughter, Sharron Deacon Begg
In this photo, I am standing beside my 'posterized' threadpainting of my great grandmother, Margaret Davidson Deacon.
It feels quite surreal ... me and my maternal gr.grandmother, who had died 32 yrs before I was born, and now we are standing here side by side. The original photo of Margaret was probably taken when she married in 1901 and the photo above was taken Apr, 23, 2017 ... a difference of 106 years !! Very surreal.

When I am doing my portraits, I get to know them fairly well ... or, I imagine I do ! 
I research the clothing ... in this case, Margarets photo was probably taken on her wedding day, her costume was popular 20 yrs. earlier, so I deduced that she is probably wearing her mother's wedding dress. They were farmers and knew how to adjust, renew, renovate and make do.
She lived only 36 yrs. and had 7 children ... all seven I knew well as a child and I know most of their stories. 
As I sketch, erase, resize and re-draw, then trace onto water-soluble, I think about that person constantly, imagining what her life was like, how she felt, how she loved. I mull over all kinds of scenarios and ask all kinds of questions ...  and I swear they are in the room answering and helping me get my facts straight ;)
I am very familiar with the county she lived in and where the original home was. I have collected stories of her, her husband Sam & families ... I know her ! 
What is, also, so very important to me is that we share the same mitochondrialDNA. We have a very strong connection ... one that, scientifically, was handed down from mother to daughter over the last 20,000 yrs. I can hear a few scoffs, but that's OK ;) This is such an exciting, scientific time we live in.

As you know, I have been working on my next portrait ... of Margaret's oldest daughter Esther Irene Deacon (previous post). She is all done except for removing the water-soluble, blocking and drying the wet, 'posterized' portrait. I will have photos to show you in a few days ... just as soon as I figure out what iPhoto Library has done with all mu pics. !


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