Like for many, this time of year makes me feel nostalgic about what I’ve done this year, how I got here and how much there is to look forward to in the coming year. I thought I would take this time to share the inspiration that helped me get started. And maybe give you some ideas for your own inspiration.
Our lives are filled with symbolism. There are so many important memories, milestones and events in our lives that we treasure. Milestones like our engagement, wedding day, honeymoon, hobbies, accomplishments, our children, their communion, confirmation, bat/bar mitzvah, their wedding day and so on. Most of us take photos or hire a photographer, some of us shoot a video or hire a videographer, but rarely are they commemorated forever with a painting. It’s just not something we think about in this fast and digital world.
Each of the milestones that give meaning to our lives has their own special symbolism. Like the dress, the baby blanket, our pets to name a few. These memories can be treasured in our lifetime and leave behind a beautiful legacy for our families to remember us forever as a piece of art in our homes that we can reflect on and passed down.
To quote Pablo Picasso, “Painting is another way of keeping a diary.” Why not keep a beautiful diary for us and our families to know the story of our lives for generations?
If you are curious to know how I got started here’s a quick snapshot – The first time I realized how important symbolism is in my own life is when I got engaged to my husband in Maui in 2004. We found the most beautiful flower to us…the plumeria.
And when we got married, I was waiting for the wedding march to start when I noticed a tiny hummingbird flying around me. I instantly thought of my grandfather. He was a small man of maybe 5’5.” I feel so incredibly lucky that one of our guests caught the hummingbird in one of their pictures!
This painting, my first that I didn’t want to toss in the trash or gesso over completely, is dedicated to the memory of my grandfather who died when I was a teenager. It is embellished with quotes and sayings he used to say to us as kids growing up. I feel so lucky one of my guests took a picture of ‘him!’
You will see a plumeria flower in my logo, our wedding painting and anywhere that I need a lift in my spirit. This is my wedding painting – see the invitation and RSVP card (from a guest from Wichita, Kansas – where my husband’s family is from) embedded in the backgroiund?
What I hope to accomplish through my uniquely textured and layered mixed-media style is personal ‘story telling’ that can literally be felt to deepen the experience. ‘Mixed-media’ is just a fancy way of saying that anything can be incorporated including photographs, invitations, fabric, paper…so basically anything that is saved from a memory or experience can be woven into my paintings!
So what is a Commemory? It’s what I hope people will think of when they want to commemorate a special memory or time in their lives to last forever.
Photography | Susan Sabo Photography
Which textured memories do you treasure?