Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hearts Hung Out to Dry (May 2007)

A number of years back, I was exploring an interest in early books on anatomy. I found them lovely (I still do) and quaint in their descriptions. But what I loved most were the illustrations. As an artist in a past life (read: career not Hindu rebirth), I'm always amazed at the way personal perceptions are realized into tangible drawings. Google "anatomical heart" sometime and look at the illustrations - they can be surprising different. But I digress.

Sometime around 2001, I wanted to celebrate Valentine's Day and share a particular favorite lithograph of a heart from an old medical textbook. I'll have to recreate the orginal valentine to share, but it was the heart you see below, with a pixie stick run through at a jaunty angle, a feather glued to one end, and an arrowhead made of silver cardstock on the other. I believe I signed it... "Happy V.D."

They were a hit and I found myself looking for additional uses for the stack of hearts I had meticulously cut out.

At the same time I was creating personalized catholic candles - mostly in a desperate attempt to nudge my life into a direction I deemed more appropriate - and started using the hearts on those. A heart bound up by a snake... a well-traveled heart (covered in old travel stickers)... a heart restricted by Georgian columns...

And then I started my masters program... gone were to hours spent pouring over magazines and books for the perfect statement environment. Gone were the evenings spent with exactos and scissors and sticky glue fingers. Gone was the rush of one good final product among the other three that just didn't work. Admittedly, some were the direct result of boy angst, and with the masters came a decided lack of that motivating factor.

Fast forward to spring 2007 and I am missing the handwork of jobs gone by. And a bit of inspiration flew past my window recently, and I got to thinking about the series once more - but beyond the boy angst-centric models of the past. And the more I think about it, the more I want to do. I have a list of ideas and a number of distinct directions. So I plan on using this medium as a platform to try them out.

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