I think we have all had the experience of something happening in our life that – in one moment- changes our life forever- and when you look back, if you look back, the road has been washed out and you can’t go back. Sometimes it’s a wonderful thing: you look across the room into someone’s eyes and you fall in love, maybe it’s as wonderful as having a baby…or maybe it’s the unimaginable. In my case, I have had all three of these profound experiences.
For 21 years, I was the proud mama to two daughters, born 21 months apart. When my youngest daughter was 21, she died of a brain aneurysm. We were all together when it happened. I had the immense privilege in my life to give birth to her, love her, be loved by her, learn from her, and be right next to her when she needed me most. Being a mom has been one of the greatest gifts I could ever have been given in my life. I am eternally grateful to have had that. If you are interested in learning more about this amazing human you can go here. In learning how to live with my never-ending love for Ilse, along with the incredible grief I experience in the missing, I was introduced to cyanotype by my sister and her daughter- a beautiful gentle soul, my niece. It let me continue to practice being in the present moment, see Beauty in such small and ordinary things in my garden or on walks: the weeds, seed pods, my Dad’s old glass medicine bottles. As I became more and more involved in this old photographic technique, and explored more – I realized that it is really an exploration in blue and white- Ilse’s favourite colours (I know white is technically not a colour).
The experience of learning to live a life not of my choosing, the exploration of, and experience of letting go (so much depends on the light in cyanotype), leaning into the lack of control, being open to the experience of magic that happens….well, all of it came OUT OF THE BLUE. It seemed an apt name for the results of this creative exploration. There is such Beauty at the intersection of all my new learning and observing. I get so excited to make these prints both on fabric and special art paper. Since I started selling my cyanotype tea cosies on Etsy, they have travelled all over the world. These flowers in the print below grew on a sunny slope next to the lake where Ilse rowed.
I am fortunate to be chosen to participate in this year’s Yuletide Fair at Bilston Creek Farm. On my stand alongside my handmade wreaths, local fresh seasonal bouquets and dried bouquets will be my cyanotypes. Most of the images were made with botanicals I have grown on my urban flower farm. All of them were made in my garden.
Thanking you for reading me here.
I wish you peace on your path today.