miércoles, enero 18, 2006

Amtrak: Westbound

It's good to be heading home. The train isn't as full as it was eastbound, so I have a full seat to myself.

This has been a wonderful time to spend with Doña LeOra and Don Fon.

I put the final stitches on the colcha embroidery I made of El Rincon mountain in Ledoux, NM.

Let me tell you the story of how that came about.

When L* and I were visiting in December of 2004, L* used the time to paint. She made her first retablo (de San Jose, whom Don Fon commented looked Chicano), and then started a portrait of me. She'd taken a bunch of fotos of me in my Frida costume, and photoshopped them to play with color, detail, and contrast, and then was using that as the model for a new painting. She'd outlined the face and features: the eyes were still blank, and Don Fon thought that she was painting a classical statue of Caesar. The painting is totally fabulous--maybe when i publish a book of creative writing I can use it as my author foto.

When we got back home, L* painted a retablo de San Francisco, which was a central part of our altar dedicated to santos and orishas, petitioning that we would be in the SF bay area.

While L* was painting, Don Fon brought out a polaroid foto of where mi familia lived in Ledoux. I believe that Don Fon was born there, and that it is also the site of the "fire story" and the "altagracia story."

L* doesn't paint landscapes. It turns out Don Fon had also asked Doña LeOra to paint it, her landscapes are more imaginary and fantastic.

So I decided that I can't paint, but I can do things with yarn and thread, and so I would make the picture for him, and what's more, I would do it by teaching myself the colcha stitch, so that it would be holistic.

So I started in January. I thought I would get it finished right away, but it took a lot longer than I anticipated.

At one point I was going to depict the house where Don Fon was born. That didn't work. My adobe casita looked more like a log cabin, and the perspective was skewed, so I picked it out, stitch by stitch. Another time, I was going to depict the "altagracia story," where the little girl saves her brother's life.
the scale was all out of whack (the goat was gonna be as big as the mountain) and besides it was macabre and not what Don Fon had specifically requested. so i picked it out, stitch by stitch.

Then I decided I would finish it for Don Fon's birthday in May. or Father's Day in June. Or their anniversary in July. So, next thing I knew, Christmas was creeping up, and the only thing I knew I wanted to give Don Fon was this colcha that I still hadn't finished.

Plus I hated everything I'd done in the foreground and picked it out, stitch by stitch.

I delayed sending the christmas presents to the familia in the hopes that I would get Don Fon's present ready in time. Didn't make it. Brought it with me to Nuevo Mexico and HURRAY, it's done. I spent my first day walking from room to room looking at Doña LeOra's paintings to see what I could do about the foreground. Turned out I needed to ground the picture, instead of letting it just trail of wimpily. Plus, I learned that I can intersperse different colors to add texture and depth. and I can even embroider with a needle threaded with two or three different colors.

Don Fon loved it. I mean he loved it. He kissed it.

1 comentario:

Julien dijo...

Needing "space": A tribute to truer words never spoken.

16 years of marriage and 2 kids later the man has decided he needs his own space...the space that he just met through friends at work and who is orginally from the same town in Colombia that he is. Suddenly his previous life is a trap. My sister is devasted. We can hardly believe it. Love, Julien.