So far the little things of joy we've found lurking in the redwheelbarrow (so much depends upon it) have been a framed Judie Tzuke 'I Am The Phoenix' LP, a Strong Man wooden push-up toy, cardboard model of the Palace of Westminster's Clock Tower (that most people call Big Ben) and a matryoshka bracelet.
(If you want to know why this blog is called redwheelbarrow and why that prompts me to look for the little things in life that bring me joy, check out this post).
And today in the redwheelbarrow we find.....duh duh durrrr (mini-drumroll to build tension)....
A tiny painted cardboard carousel horse.
This is the only bit left of a mobile I drew, painted and strung together the DAY before Goth Child was born. I made 5 horses, all in different colours, with different brightly coloured saddles, manes and reins. It's ever so basic but I was incredibly proud of it when it was finished.
I think it was possibly the first bit of 'art' I'd made in about 7 years, since leaving university. I'd loved making huge collages and props for college balls and events at uni, but then I left and became an accountant, and worked ridiculously long hours and spent any spare time studying to pass my chartered accountancy exams. I'd forgotten how incredibly satisfying making things could be.
Goth Child was a few days late being born, it was June and hot and I'd run out energy 'getting things ready'. In my exhaustion from 'being busy', I'd finally stopped and made something for the baby (we didn't know whether she'd be a girl or a boy, but she was nicknamed Noah as a bump....because we predicted that when she was born there would probably be a flood (sorry TMI?) and I'd probably be screaming 'Noooooooooooo!!!! Aahhhhhh!!!!').
What I hadn't really realised was making the carousel mobile was actually just as much something for me as it was for the baby. I love making things, especially these days props and costumes for me and the girls. I love painting too. I can't paint anything original (hang on, I can hear my friend Charlie shouting at me "who says you 'can't'? I think you mean you 'haven't yet'") but I do love copying things and then 'colouring in'. Actually, what I'm trying to say is, I can't am not yet able to look at a 3 dimensional object and put it onto paper, but show me a photo or someone else's drawing of it and I can copy that perfectly.
Let it be known though that colouring in is a highly under-rated therapy. I've always felt massively calm and satisfied making a black and white outline come to life.
You'll have noticed too that I love carousels...there's one in my profile pic up there at the top right of this blog. There's also my favourite photo of me and the girls the girls and I:
I wish I still had the whole of the mobile, the top was full of bright colours and patterns spiralling into its centre and I loved the way the horses 'danced' whenever there was any movement or breeze in the room.
Perhaps I should make a new one. It's Fall Break (Autumn Half-Term) next week, for 2 weeks, so making mobiles could be something I can do with the girls. It could be fun.
Plus I know that the first artist we're going to be teaching the 2nd graders (Year 3 in English schools) about in Art Masterpiece in a few weeks time is Alexander Calder, and although we're going to be doing static wire sculptures with the kids, he's also known for his mobiles and kinetic art, so perhaps we can find out some more about that...and make our own.
But until then I only have this one horse left now. And it sits on top of my chest of drawers in my bedroom and you've guessed it - it makes me smile :)