series

Last two releases for Limited Edition series 13

it is with a bit of sadness i present to you the last two pieces of "13". i am always slightly melancholy when i wrap up a project, but all good things must come to an end! but i do have plans for future projects, so it's not all sad.

i think you may have noticed that many of the pieces in "13" have come in pairs and i see these last two as a pair, more because they are conveying similar feelings, not necessarily because of a visible similarity. however, i have chosen to make the background of both of these more smooth and one color rather than having many textures and layers as in the previous pieces. 

I call No. 12 and 13 "Hope Deferred". when i made these, i was thinking of all kinds of moments when we defer hope, but i was thinking particularly of those women who have had to defer hope in relation to having children. we are in a time when we women realize that we can't do it all and we must choose one path over another, sacrifice something for something else. i know that sounds really vague, but we are all in very different circumstances and have different choices to make.

13, No. 12 (Hope Deferred) - unlike the first piece i did (13, No. 1 (Too Hard To Hold)) where there was a hand to catch the pearls being dropped, there is no one here to catch the pearls. the pearls are rolling away fast. and to me, the hand that's letting go of the pearls here is a bit more reluctant. because the choice to let go of something in order to make room for having children is a hard one. as women, we must sacrifice a career, our time, our sleep, and the ability to call our bodies and time our own. fathers have to sacrifice too, but unless they are the primary care givers, this sacrifice falls largely on women. and we do it willingly, do we not? i certainly did, but it still doesn't quite prepare you for how difficult this is in reality.

when my husband and i decided we would have children, i decided to put aside my goals to pursue writing. fortunately for me, i managed to eek out an hour here and an hour there of writing after our first daughter turned 1. it took me over 7 years to write a very short novel. i still have no idea what will happen to this novel that i poured so much of my effort into and i am still figuring out this journey of being an artist, but it feels so late in life for me to be struggling over these things! there are moments when i think, i should have figured this out in my 20s!

hope deferred.

i was having a conversation about this with a friend who was saying that we are privileged to even have this kind of thought, to have the luxury of making a choice, as there are many people in this world who don't have this luxury, who must live to survive day to day. but it is a reality many of us face and we must make a choice.

 

13, No. 13 (Hope Deferred) - when i made this piece, i was thinking about all the women i know who at some point in their lives were unable to conceive. this is a different kind of hope deferred, one that is not our choice to make. this, i believe, is particularly difficult. i am also thinking of those women who have lost babies, through miscarriages or other complications that took their babies' lives.

i recently watched "March Of the Penguins" with my daughters. there is a gut-wrenching scene where a mother penguin whose newborn froze during a storm tries to steal the baby of another penguin. her grief and desperation drove her to attempt something so unthinkable. because the void left by a dead baby is surely too painful to bear.

i'd like to believe that this kind of hope that has been deferred blooms somewhere for the women who must carry this burden around with them daily. i'd like to believe this even if we can't see it. 

***

 

i feel that my words here have been rather halting today. it is not easy to think about these kinds of pain. but this month of work has been about embracing both the joys and the difficult parts of life and looking at them as honestly as i can. thank you for accompanying me here on this journey. i hope the experience of accompanying me has enriched your days in some small way. i know i have learned so much this month, having the discipline of producing a certain amount of work every week.

i look forward to other projects in the future! i will continue to share them here, so if you'd like to follow along, please subscribe by clicking on the icon below, bottom left corner. once you click on the icon, you can choose to either read in a feed of your choice or receive emails. i generally write here at most once a week, so you won't get inundated with emails from me. ;)

have a wonderful week, friends!!

Week 1 for Limited Edition 13

hello, friends! welcome to those of you who have joined me here recently! i'm really excited to be sharing this journey here with you. i have been busy working on the pieces that are released for today. i hope you will head over to my Etsy shop to take a closer look at them. here are some work-in-progress shots:

edited with VSCO

edited with VSCO

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let me share a little bit of the story behind the three pieces pictured above.

i wanted to start out with some darkness. part of being a mother is seeing yourself go to some dark places, but also, when you care for little ones, you often find yourself awake at night, caring for them when you should be sleeping. there are images of pearls and flowers in these pieces. to me, the pearls and flowers are about thoughts, feelings, and memories. when i became a mother, so many thoughts, feelings and memories became sharper than before. memories of my own childhood took on different layers of meaning, now that i could see them from the perspective of a mother. the incredible love i suddenly felt for another tiny person was so strong and sharp. life came into sudden focus as i no longer lived for me and had to live for another.

13, No. 1 (Too Hard To Hold) - in this piece, a hand holding a chain of pearls is dropping the pearls and another hand catches one as it falls. there are moments when the demands of motherhood feels like it is too much and in those moments, i want to drop all the pieces that i'm holding together for everyone. sometimes, the pearls and the flowers hurt me. and other times, i am afraid i would hurt the child i'd been entrusted to love. i long to hand over my troubles and worries that have become polished and shiny like these pearls from too much handling and caring. sometimes, they become too heavy to hold onto.

13, No. 2 (From A Distance) - but sometimes, when you are up in the middle of the night, holding a sick child and you feel like you cannot change the soiled sheets or clothes another time, or you feel like your baby has been marathon nursing and there couldn't possibly be any more milk left in your breasts, sometimes, you look down at your child and you forget how exhausted you are and you marvel at the beauty of this person sleeping in your arms.

13, No. 3 (Your Face Is Cracked In Half) - there is a saying in Korean that my mum said to me often after i gave birth to a child: "Your face is cracked in half." having children has somehow altered my face. of course, my face has aged over the years, but i'm not talking about the crow's feet, wrinkles and age spots. i think something shifts under our skin after giving birth. i woke up one day, looked in the mirror and knew that my face no longer looked the way it did before i gave birth.

hope you will visit my Etsy shop and take a closer look at the first 3 pieces of the Limited Edition "13". thanks!!

Limited Edition series titled "13"

May is just around the corner and this May marks a special moment in my life. my oldest daughter turns 13 years. which means i have been a mother for 13 years. and the number 13 has a significant place in my life. my birthday is August 13. i turned 13 years old on Friday the 13th - it was a terrible birthday, but that's another story! :) it seems apt that i should do something special for this upcoming month of May. so i thought, why not make 13 paintings for the month of May? I will release 3 paintings each week over the course of May and then release the 13th painting on the last day of May. this Limited Edition will be available through my Etsy store. please follow me here on the blog, on Instagram (@madebyslk) or on FaceBook as i celebrate through the month of May. if you would like first dibs, please subscribe to my blog (click on button on lower left corner) as i will post the releases on the blog first.

the 13 paintings began their life as a single large painting and then have been cut down to smaller 13 pieces. the large washes of color provide the background for the smaller details. there's a lot of texture here because of the many layers of paint, with colors coming through the dark washes of black.

i'm a little nervous about this - i've never done a series to be produced in a set amount of time, but i'm hoping it will be a good discipline and a fun project. plus, Mother's Day is coming up and i can't think of a better way to celebrate it than by putting down on paper my feelings of being a mother. thank you for joining me in this endeavor!