Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter and Peppers

When I was a kid my family Really DID Easter. Not in a hugely religious way, unless you count the Church of Chocolate and grassy baskets filled with prezzies. Never at a loss for space, my childhood homes loomed large, with many rooms, sliding pocket doors, Father's "den", winding and steep "servant's " staircases and many closets. Little Me and my siblings were treated to veritable scavenger hunts of many, many little nests filled with candies. Lighting sconces, china cabinets, piano innards all saw my parent's hands depositing multitudes of wispy handfuls of Easter Grass over the years. Along with those hunts came the inevitable baskets at our doors in the morning. Huge. White. Filled with really Keen Things. One year I actually got a white chocolate PISTOL. (Oh, yeah, really religious and appropriate, but oh-so-yummy. I ate it from the handle onaccounta, well, the barrel end just did not feel, I dunno..."Eastery")

One year, I think it was when I was somewhere around 13 or so, my mother put into my basket a box of Edward Weston note cards (we were one of "those" families...the ones who gave note cards AND used them).

It was that one introduction that began a life long love of photography. From there, and back TO there, I travel in my adoration of the visual image. I began to study Weston, Penn, Karsh ( I actually HAVE a Karsh portrait of my grandmother!) ,Avedon, Stieglitz, Sally Mann, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Annie Liebovitz, Ansel Adams, Immogen Cunningham...and on and on and on...and much of my personal aesthetic has been garnered from a patchwork of appreciation of these artists.

I am so very grateful to have had parents who steeped me in art and books, music and theatre. I had Picasso picture books when I was tiny, and heard classical music growing up. I was encouraged to grow my tender creative shoots, with classes and toys and supplies. My mom was a smart mom. When I was 6 or so, she came home with a huge sheet of linoleum, cut to fit under my bed, and I could slide that sucker out at any time and paint to my heart's content without messing the carpet up.

So for me, Easter means a LOT of things, but aside from all the Booty collected, and the resultant fluoride treatments at the dentist, I am most grateful right now for the Edward Weston pepper cards that showed up in my Basket that year. It has been a long and wonderful ride since that Spring.