The Story Behind “Seashore’s Delight”
When I was young and growing up, my parents didn’t have very much in the way of material things. I remember my mom having a few things that I thought were nice, including two vases, which were almost always on the mantle, and then there was this lovely teapot with lots of flowers on it. As I got older, Mom often made tea in the teapot using her favorite spiced orange tea. I grew to love it and enjoy drinking tea with Mom. As I got older, especially after high school, I realized that the possessions that mom had were even that much more important to her, being that there weren’t many of them.
When mom grew older, after my dad had passed and could no longer manage the family home on her own, she decided that she would sell the house and move into an apartment. The packing up of all the things and, of course, downsizing was a tremendous job, and difficult decisions had to be made. Mom decided to have a yard sale. I was there that day helping and noticed Mom had a box that said items for $0.10 each. I was scandalized as in the box were not only the two favorite vases but also the teapot. I rescued them the minute I saw them and was thankful that no one else had seen them before me. Disaster was averted, and my memories were saved in physical form. Mom didn’t know how vital the family items were to me. The teapot now resides in my China closet, along with a small collection of family teacups and a couple of other smaller teapots.
As the years have gone by, an old friend of ours, Louise, who was our son’s kindergarten teacher, has remained good friends with us. We have shared some of our traditions over time and discovered that we both love teapots after she posted online a picture of a teapot that she uses. I told her that it reminded me of my mom’s.
It just so happens that in my new flower series, one day, I was trying to figure out a way to display the flowers. I started by putting some flowers in vases and then realized that I might try creating a teapot with flowers on it. The colors turned out gloriously. Now, for the last many weeks, I have been involved in seriously planning a trip for our grandson and was doing lots of other things, and I hadn’t created any piece of new art in a while. I was dying to try something new. I decided to scrape out some time here and there to work on it, mainly in the middle of the night. Louise had sent me three years’ worth of beautiful teapots in full color on calendars, so I had lots of inspiration. I had also been looking at our collection of seashells and looking at seashells online for no particular reason. And then, an idea came to me to create a teapot that looked like a seashell.
This teapot has gone through almost twenty iterations, starting with colors that I thought might look nice and then which ended up looking ghastly, and I mean horrid. I started over, deciding that more natural colors looked best. It was closer to the piece of art with which I had started. I also decided that I had to add flowers to the side of the teapot so that it wouldn’t look naked. First, I tried flowers in vases, and then I tried adding plants and various other things. I actually went back to the first teapot that I created with it showing flowers lying on the table, obscured somewhat by the teapot. That was the key, along with using complimentary colors. I took a breath, knowing Mom would have loved this.
Providing a new view or perspective on something is what I’m trying to achieve and to evoke meaningful memories. If I do that, I’m grateful for those in my life who have contributed to my view or seeing an object in a new way. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be creative.