Wednesday, September 12, 2007


souvenir (soo"ve-nir') n. 1, a memento or keepsake. 2, a memory.

One of the pleasures of my St. Louis excursion had to be discovering a Blick Studio less than a block away from the art fair. To top it off, Blick was having a major sale on canvases and paint. This means that the majority of my "souvenirs" are incomplete. I am certain that every one of the ten canvases I brought home will be influenced by the weekend in ways that may not even be clear to me. This is not about copying anything I've seen. Souvenirs are also by definition memories that we take away from vacations and exposure to new places. Souvenirs are impressions that mark areas of your brain that you can't touch, but influence how you see in the future--a texture here, a taste from there and a color from somewhere else. Then it all has to process in the nooks and crannies of the individual. Days, weeks, maybe even years later something will come out from that experience that is unique and fresh. Right now I have so many ideas that my problem is settling on one to start on.

And I did manage to come away with the first definition of "souvenir". It's concrete and I own it, but it isn't mine. Debrorah Banyas captivated me with her 3-D mixed media pieces. This fun mermaid gal is at home in our kitchen hanging over our back door. Thanks Debrorah.

And now for all of those blank canvases. I certainly can't have my souvenirs collecting dust.

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