This week’s hostess on the Gothic Arches art challenge is my friend Karen Owens, so I knew I would have to play.  Karen’s theme is transitions, which seemed to put my muse into overdrive.


For me, transitions seem to be all about family lately.  Watching four children grow up, especially the oldest two who are in the process of sprouting their adult wings, is a pretty engrossing transitional process for any mother.  This arch is about a not-so-mythical person who seems to dominate my art, not always as explicitly as here though, where the piece is named for "King Baby" who in one way or another has ruled my world for the last 17 1/2 years.  My youngest is at the end of his babyhood, which is an enormous transition in my life.


Five has always seemed like a banner age to me.  It’s the end of babyhood, the start of school and reading, and really one of my favorite transitions that children go through.  Good Egg Five is dedicated to this transition, which my youngest is going through this year.


Mary and Enid is all about the relationship between siblings.  It’s hard when older siblings go away, and also hard to be the only girl, especially with teenage brothers.  This arch is really about wish fulfillment and Ellie’s desire to have a sister, to go along with all those brothers.


This is Ellie Gets Her Wings, because, well, she has.  It is incredible how grown up she is and how sensitive, thoughtful, playful, and spiteful can all be mixed in together.  I really enjoy watching her grow up.  I’m not sure if you can see the detail in the scan, but the inverted postage at the bottom is some pretty Russian stamps of ballerinas that came to me on a parcel years ago, and that I’ve saved for just the right project.  Ellie has the heart of a ballerina, and although I have mixed emotions about her pursuing it seriously, her work with a professional company last winter was a huge part of her transition to growing up.


This is my last arch (I warned you all that Karen’s theme made me sort of prolific), determined girl.  One wish I have for all of my children, no matter what they choose to do is that the will know their own minds, follow their own dreams passionately, and feel like they have the ability to be the person they want to be, not little cookie cutter versions of what they are "supposed to be."  I hope their transition to adulthood will involve the freedom of flying to be themselves.

Posted in Art

23 thoughts on “Transitions

  1. Joyce, I began to tremble as I looked at each of these and read your words. They all have such an emotional impact. Beautiful, heartfelt work!

  2. Your arches were wonderful , but you nailed me with what you wrote about them. It was very touching and I relate to your feelings so strongly. I have one little boy who would love me to go ‘pouf’ and make him a little sibling lol. It’s tempting.

  3. Joyce, this is some of my favorite work of yours. Truly. Especially like the piece with Ellie. In cold Chicago at the ABA Tech Show. About to check out the local museums on the web to see if I can spice up this visit! Don’t expect to make it to Paper Source this year. Generally pissed off at Spitzer for tanking a great (Democratic) political career. Fondly, Susan

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