This is a picture I created in the very early 80’s and I was still 17 years old, working and head over heals for a guy I was seeing. I knew from the beginning that it would not go anywhere, but it was still thrilling being my first venture into men.

This picture was done using pastels, the colored charcoal. I used to really fall into my projects and using my fingers to blend the colors was all part of that. It was like my energy was flowing through my fingers in contact with the paper. Often, I would work in a frenzy for hours until I was finished, and ‘spent’.

The subject of this picture was a small arrangement I had put together in this very small, depression glass vase-like thing. I still have it! The rose was a ribbon rose I had made by hand and a daisy I made from cut ribbon petals and yellow button, glued onto a stem. Both of them were stuck into a little blog blob of clay. I remember trying to make it look very realistic, with the flowers on the inside being made to look faint, behind the glass, but I wanted them to be clearly seen. Surprisingly to me, I caught something that I probably could have done differently. Instead of having the blue framing the white daisy petals, it probably would have been better if I used white… but then, maybe it would not look as if it was behind the glass.  The frame is plain wood that I painted myself.  See, this whole object is creativity meeting across time… past and present.  I like that.

I saw myself has having a little secret world with this guy. Nobody knew about him. He was sort of a fling at work… AND he was married. I knew it was wrong, but at the time I had such low self esteem I didn’t think that I’d get another chance at romance, even though I knew it was not real, fake. Ugh, when I think of all the romantic indulgences I allowed myself just for that reason. I remember learning “The Rose”, by Bette Midler and singing them into his ear while we sat in the park…. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! But those lyrics really rang true for me at the time. Beautiful song… did you know that my idol Barry Manilow was Bette’s piano player?

The Rose
by Bette Midler

Some say love it is a river
that drowns the tender reed
Some say love it is a razor
that leaves your soul to bleed

Some say love it is a hunger
an endless aching need
I say love it is a flower
and you it’s only seed

It’s the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance
It’s the dream afraid of waking
that never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken
who cannot seem to give
and the soul afraid of dying
that never learns to live

When the night has been too lonely
and the road has been too long
and you think that love is only
for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
far beneath the bitter snows
lies the seed
that with the sun’s love
in the spring
the rose