Actually, this was last week's IF topic. I missed the deadline, so, officially, I suppose this is an unofficial Illustration Friday entry. However, I started on it and I was determined to finish it. What I was aiming for was a digital scrapbook type look, inspired by the accomplished creations of Anja de Dobbelaere. (And while you're at Pinterest, check out the fabulous posters she's done for Zapparade, a street theater festival in Belgium.) It seemed so do-able: start with a photograph or two on some background papers, artistically add some trinkets and other ornamentation on the page, and voilà. After struggling for far too long with my composition, I came to have a new appreciation of that voilà. Of course, I did probably increase the level of difficulty by trying to create my own digital scrap (new lingo!), scanning in assorted objects such as the lace edging and the buttons you see here, as well as others that I ultimately rejected. The "papers" are from Lost and Taken, a great site for free textures. The roses on top of those are one of my photos, filtered and masked. The daisy-type flowers are also cut out from one of my photos. The calligraphic frames are from a Dover book of Photoshop brushes. And the butterfly is from my old and much-used Click Art collection. Finally I decided it was done, done enough, acceptable, time to move on.
The photographs are from a set of four that hung on the wall in my mother's bedroom. They are of me, an only child, dated the year after my birth. Did my mother put the newspaper clipping in front of one of them when they were first framed or she find it and tuck it there later? And did she cling to the sentiments it expresses through all the years of our often-extreme mother-daughter conflicts, or did she wonder what ever could have happened to that sweet child she once had? I was, as in the clipping, a daddy's girl, but despite all the differences between my mother and myself, I am sure she did indeed do her best for me. I thank her for my love of nature and gardening, for teaching me to sew, for showing me the pleasures of reading, as well as for other, more intangible qualities that have helped me through life. I think of this composition not as being about me, but rather as a tribute to my parents, and especially to my mother, who gave me as good a start in life as any child could ask for.