Two Personal Pieces Achieve Closure

A couple of pieces of my artwork have found their intended homes lately. 

Neither of these pieces was ever part of my competitive fine art collection, nor was either created for the sf convention art show market. Instead, each was a piece made specifically for a person I know.

The first is a little piece I made for a relatively new friend.  Ann recently celebrated her 80th birthday.  A group of us created an appreciation piece in her honor, a special hat adorned with Minnie Pearl-style tags that each bore a note  recalling a memory, favorite moment, or other appreciation.

This is the miniature piece Ann’s Hat, created as an appreciation.

Since I didn’t know her as well as some of her friends, I opted for a visual appreciation: Ann is a woman of truly distinctive style.  She favors large rings and brooches, colorful scarves, and vintage hats. I always enjoy seeing what she wears to our monthly gatherings.

I was in California for her party and presentation, but I hope she liked my offering.

I created the other piece for my Aunt Bobbie, who has been a collector of hippopotamus-themed artwork (mostly small sculptures) for as long as I’ve known her (i.e., all my life).  

The piece I created for her actually has been in the works since 2011 and was not delivered till 2013. In the course of creating the final image, I developed several techniques that I have used in subsequent works, most notably all the floral/herbal works created so far in 2013.

Bobbie’s artwork portrays a hippo of the Okavongo, among the papyrus mats that are a feature of that river.  It is titled Hippo at Home.

This is a photo of Hippo at Home, in its original mat.

Bobbie’s had a very rough year. Starting with an illness that forced a trip to the Emergency Room on the night before Thanksgiving 2012, she’s been in and out of the hospital and a rehabilitation facility, and at present lives at a boarding care home (where she recently celebrated her 85th birthday) in South San Francisco.

To compound the problem for all of us, she has for many years lived far away from the rest of her family: my sister is in Dallas, and I’m in Kansas City.  She has many friends in the Bay Area, but sometimes there’s no substitute for family.  My daughter Signy Gephardt (a jewelry designer about whom I’ve blogged in the past) now lives nearby at Bobbie’s condo, and acts as Bobbie’s patient-advocate, household manager, and dog-caregiver.

Unfortunately, while I got the mat/frame in focus, the artwork is NOT.

This fall, partly thanks to Signy, Hippo at Home received a much-needed mat-makeover.  It was delivered while I was visiting in early October, so i got to see it. 

Although I tried, I couldn’t get a very good picture of it in its new triple mat and shadowbox frame, created by Aaron Brothers of Daly City, CA. It is now hanging in Bobbie’s room at the boarding care home, right above her TV. 

IMAGES: all photos are by me, of my own artwork.

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jansgephardt

Kansas City-based Jan S. Gephardt is a writer, artist, and teacher. She makes nationally-recognized paper sculpture and writes sf mystery novels about a sapient police dog.

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