June 23rd, 2007

I've had this image in my head for a couple weeks now. Sometimes things need to percolate. I was sketching in my little moleskin book in bed, I had looked at the Inspire Me Thursday prompt which was "rooted" and it was making me think about my own roots. After doing a bit of traveling, the fiansor and I were talking about what (besides our family) was keeping us where we are. We're planning to buy a home in the next year or so and I guess with that decision looming it has us both wondering, thinking about other places and what that might be like. And then there's the town I grew up in. My mom had to sell her house, where I grew up, when my step-dad lost his job and got a new job out of state. They're back in Mass now, in a different house, in a neighboring town. My dad has also left the home he was in for an adult condo community with my step-mom. I have no more physical roots in the place where I grew up, the place I called home. So, I was thinking about how even though I no longer have a place, a location that is the center for my roots, my roots are still there. In my sketch that night I imagined a neighborhood where each house has roots grown deep into the ground and in the spot where a house used to be, the roots have grown into a tree.

I like the way this came out, so I'm glad I let it bubble out when it was ready to come. I went out today to get a board to make this image on because everything I had was the wrong shape. I ended up using some of the images from a "Today's Woman" magazine from the 1950's that I picked up in Seattle. I had a lot of fun flipping through those images. The final image, I'm calling "Rooted," is 14"x18" with collage and acrylic on board. I'll have it up on the art website next week.

Coincidentally, Holly at Decor 8 asked readers to write about "what makes a house a home." Before I got into the painting, I sat down and thought about it for awhile and this is what I wrote:

  What makes a house a home?

For me it’s all about the feeling of my shoulders descending from my ears to their proper place as I walk in the door. Where I live now is the first place since I left my childhood home 13 years ago that has felt like home to me. I wasn’t homeless in those thirteen years in between, no, I had apartments and rooms and places where I kept my stuff. But that’s all it was, a container. It had no soul.

Home is where you find your socks under the couch after an evening of sock wars with your honey. Home is where you strut in your underwear dancing to Scissor Sister songs without a care in the world. Home is where you curl up to have a good cry. Home is where you line the hallway with photos of your family: a baby picture with your mom, your grandpa mowing the lawn, your cats as kittens.

In the next year, my fiancé and I will be looking for our first house. The apartment we’ve lived in for the past four years has been home to me though. I think what made it home, even though I don’t own it, is that it’s so full of love. It’s run down, the shower clogs up easily, the dishwasher leaks, and the plaster chips away from the walls, but I can overlook these things as this is where I’ve loved the most deeply and felt the most loved. I think that energy stays in a place, swirling around and giving off a vibe to people who enter. I’m always happy to go home. I miss it when I’m away. It’s where my heart is kept. I guess that’s where that cliché comes from; home is where my heart is.


17 Responses

Great painting Leah! My home is where my love is too. Its a great feeling isn’t it!

I love this image and your musings about what a home means. Interesting that someone in my workshop yesterday was mentioning the image of a home with roots, too. Home definitely is where the heart is for me, too.

that is an amazing image; your eyes are drawn down to the bottom of the tree to see the action… even though, percentage wise, this is the smallest area of the image. It left me wanting to know what they were saying to each other.

LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! I can’t gush on about it more!

Your art is truly amazing – it stirs up all kinds of emotions within me. Congrats on your new art bloggie and your website. I’ll be visiting often!!

this piece is incredible! wow!

and i love your words abotu home…

As always, I love your art work my friend. This piece is so inspiring and grounding. Your words about home are so true. xoxo

This is just delightful, wonderful and perfect.

I love that…the houses with roots…wonderful metaphor. Lovely.

i am totally the opposite…i must have been a gypsy in a former life! while i love my home and the feeling of hominess, i struggle with feeling restless from time to time. it’s in my blood…i’ve always felt that way. the funny thing is i do feel very rooted none the less. the roots grow through the people in my life i guess…not the places. i’ve lived in a gazillion different “homes”, but only in mass. maybe my roots are sprinkled throough the entire state :) mass is my home.

This was an intersting post that resonated well with me, too. I have been uprooted now for 18 months. Since separating from my husband of 20 years I have moved 5 times and have to do it again in October. I bawl like a baby every time for the rooted feeling I left when I left the farmhouse I adored. But ahhhh, life is every-changing and with change comes growth. Trees and houses are a nice combo, Leah, two very rooted beings. The color and simplicity are super.

And Mindy, WOW, I envy people like her who can by gypsy-like and be content.

Leah! This is fabulous! The colors, the lines, the balance -wow! I love it!! Your description of what your home is is very touching too.

I love the bit about your shoulders descending from your ears to their proper place when you walk in the door of your home:) An inhalation, an exhalation – ah peace! Very inspired artwork – it’s how I feel about my home.

I LOVE this post!! You will always rememer this apartment! I’ve lived in LOTS of places, but will always remeber my first apartment that wasn’t just a place to crash and leave my belongings strewn about! (OK…I STILL leave my belongings strewn about) (you’ll see soon enough)…but you KNOW what I mean!!

That piece is awesome, and so reflects this bit of writing!

PS…thanks so much for your kind words these past 2 weeks!! xoxox

When I was living in Colorado, more then 1800 miles from the home I grew up in, I struggled with the idea of home…relationships starting and ending, my own transformations, even my childhood bedroom being filled with my grandmother’s furniture… All the while moving 7 times in three and a half years. I discovered home has to be inside myself, manifesting in love, keeping myself grounded and my heart open…grounded in my heart and in the Earth. Thank you for sharing your art and thoughts, it always gets me thinking.

Love this new piece. Beautiful!

I posted on this question too:

I love this – I did a collage a while back about wings and roots – rooted wings and winged roots…

so nice to hear from you – thought of you the other day and realized that I hadn’t responded to your e-mail re: self-trust – and how? – I guess I don’t really know… I just try to remember…

xox – eb.

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