I recognized a small hen in a field of my oldest Christmas ornaments. Its feathers are sparser and much more ragged than once I was a tiny feminine and it perched minimal on my grandparents’ or our tree each Christmas. I cannot keep in mind for assured, however I take into account Grandma related the chook to a bow (remember all these sharp, plastic particulars that designed bows under no circumstances, at any time slide off?) on a present to me after I admired it every yr once I was modest, as I bear in mind inserting it on our tree the remainder of my childhood, after which as a youthful spouse and mom. It skilled a minimal horsehair nest, which has very lengthy because of the reality disappeared.
I put the hen on our tree this 12 months, and taking a look at it there rapidly launched again reminiscences of turning into a small lady, laying mesmerized beneath a embellished ponderosa or cedar, staring up on the multi-coloured lights, outdated glass bulbs and glowing icicles. I can odor it. I can take heed to my mom collaborating in guitar and singing “Little Toy Trains,” and I can expertise the exhilaration and awe of turning into a child at Christmas. I recall fancying that this hen was alive and questioning how fairly a couple of true birds had landed in that tree upfront of we decrease it down. I’d get shed within the lights, fascinated by the way in which the colours bounced off the decorations and blended to type new hues. This tattered little chook, missed for a number of years, launched again once more recollections I’d completely neglected.
I like outdated factors given that they’ve a heritage, a thousand tales we could presumably know or simply visualize. Real artwork, moreover, tells tales or prompts a reminiscence or a model name-new creativeness or emotion. How fairly a couple of work, songs, tales or symphonies are mendacity dormant in our reminiscences, ready round to be recognized, unearthed and shared?
This chook would have been misplaced or tossed a number of a long time again have been it not for the recollections that introduced on me to take care of onto it, and nonetheless, what glorious are the reminiscences it prompts if I don’t make one thing of them, via paintings, composing or merely recalling who that tiny girl laying underneath the Xmas tree was?
Forward of I paint in 2022, I’ll check out to interact my experiences, reminiscences and ideas for my matter make any distinction. I’ll recall that small purple-headed lady, mesmerized by gentle and shade and shock, and I’ll invite individuals emotions into my coronary heart as I take advantage of my creativeness to make work that aren’t regurgitations of the earth round me, however depictions of what may make that surroundings “higher” — further alive, vibrant, fascinating. I’ll use extra of that childlike marvel which delivers lifetime to artwork and paintings to lifetime.
Sonja Caywood is a space artist in Dayton