Beneath the Glass #2: Eternally Bloom - children and personal generations

Children make up the majority of the figures in this collection. This is likely because of the stage of life I'm currently in (early motherhood), but also because children grow up and change so quickly, I found them to be ideal subjects for a series about the passing of time.

It was my intention that the vintage styling and muted colours in these works would give viewers a sense that the subjects depicted are no longer children - that the faces they're looking into wouldn't look the same today. I made a point to stick with black ink, mixed here and there with a tinge of brown liquid watercolour, to mimic old photography. I used dried organic materials in several of the collages, especially "Eternally Bloom" and "Come With Me". I felt that incorporating real dried flowers, leaves and bark would not only create a visual feast of texture, but would help further the memento mori theme. 


The little girl depicted in "Eternally Bloom" is my late grandmother - my mother's mother who lost her battle with cancer when I was two years old. It is the most personal of all of the pieces in this collection, which is why it borders on nostalgia, although it was never my intention to make these pieces nostalgic. (I didn't want viewers to see the works and think "Aw, the good ol' days... What a beautiful memory... Those sure were good times" as opposed to "Where have these people gone, and what's next for me?") I'm pleased to say that my eldest aunt, who kinda stepped in as the matriarch of our family after my grandmother's passing, has purchased "Eternally Bloom." I'm thrilled it will be staying in our family :)

Just for fun, here's a closer look at a couple personal textures I incorporated into this piece:

- Dried four-leaf clovers. I have a knack for finding four leaf clovers, and have collected them since I was a kid. My son (who would be the newest great-grandchild of my grandmother), was born on St. Patrick's day, so these clovers have taken on another meaning for me. The clovers also help transition the white center into the green edges - I chose green in part because it is my mother's favorite.

-  Pressed pansy flower. My grandmother's favorite flower. I just couldn't help but hide a purple one near her feet - you can see it if you look through the ink with a flashlight. I picked this one from my front yard. A small one grows each year in the dirt that we have yet to landscape.

Pam Baergen