Wednesday, December 5, 2007


During the first week of November, I visited my middle sister who lives in the town of Ocean Springs on the Gulf Coast in Mississippi. While I was there, we participated in a yoga class at River Rock Yoga. On the wall of the entryway of the yoga studio were engaging drawings by Lief Anderson, a daughter of Walter Inglis Anderson whose art and life have been meaningful to me recently. It turns out that the yoga studio is owned by Moira Anderson Miller, daughter of Lief Anderson and granddaughter of Walter Inglis Anderson. Before the yoga class, as my sister and I filled out the forms required in order to take the yoga class, I had a brief conversation with Moira, in which we affirmed that yoga had brought healing into our lives and in which I felt I had met a kindred spirit.

Since then, I have enjoyed reading DANCING WITH MY FATHER, by Lief Anderson, described on the book jacket as "a daughter's remembrance of life with the eccentric genius and artist Walter Anderson." It makes me think of the documentary, "The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack" made by Rambling Jack Elliott's daughter, Aiyana Elliott, another daughter with an absent artist father. Both women's memories of their fathers remind me of my father and mother, who didn't called themselves artists but were artist nonetheless.

Although the painting I have posted today is titled "Imaginary Brother With Fish With Open Heart," I also think of it as a portrait of my father, a man who loved gardening, music and God. During my childhood, my father was frequently away on business trips and was present and distant in the same way my mother was. I am beginning to see how much I am like them, except that I don't have children. There is something about me that is present and distant, too. I am most at ease with people who have that quality of being both present and distant (bloggers, for example!) I spend much of my time in a joyful and creative and fulfilling solitude. The painting also reminds me of my first boyfriend, an artist who spent a year in Vietnam in 1970. I would like to post some of the artwork he did during his first days in Vietnam but it is not my place to post his work without his permission.

1 comment:

The Dream said...

As an artist - most definitely an eccentric, and often described as having an artistic temperment, I am fortunate to have two children who are wildly talented beings, both with artist temperments. They are my mirrors and I, theirs.

Love this work of yours, Am.