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Capturing Old Places and Spaces

September 17, 2020 1:20 pm

It’s about two weeks till closing. My parent’s house is ready to go. I have pictures and videos of every nook and cranny. Now, I paint it all. At first, I was beside myself about the house becoming someone else’s. I felt like I was losing and old friend forever. Recently, I’ve thought, “I have a way to keep this old friend with me.” I can be between “What Was” and “What’s Next” through my paintings. I can transition from one liminal space and the next with my paintbrush. My creative process eases the angst others might feel about the ambiguousness of time. I’m OK with how time passes, because I can paint my way through life’s transitions. It’s, in large part, why art making is so rewarding for me.

I spend a lot of time drifting back and forth between what once was, what now is, and my dreams of what will be on a canvas. When I think about Heaven now, I don’t just imagine seeing my loved ones lost. I imagine seeing them within the places we lived life together. Until the day comes when I go back to it all, I paint it.

How do you capture your old places and spaces? If you’re a scrapbooker, you understand this question well. There’s a reason why your photos are not just of people. It’s likely you capture your favorite old places and spaces, too. If you are a genealogist, you have found your own creative way to have to explore and keep a hold on the past. This is important stuff. Old places and spaces are important to us today. We are constantly remembering, and it’s great to have a tangible way of recalling past people, places, and events. If we don’t reach into the past, we will forget, and some pretty wonderful stuff can be lost. I paint so I don’t forget. What can you do?