The Stories Behind the Story – A Summer of Girlfriend Camaraderie – LAKE

LAKE (ah-GAHM) I pastel-graphite-colored pencil, 22" x 30" | $, 3,000

Exciting news update! Get ready as we unwrap the 6th chapter of "The Stories Behind the Story" series! Six more captivating tales are on the horizon, and I genuinely look forward to sharing them with you.

In this chapter, experience the heartwarming exploration of friendship in "SAFE HAVEN: A Summer of Girlfriend Camaraderie.”

“…One of the answers would be that our friends bring out the best in us; isn't that why we have them in our lives?”

As we dive deeper, more personal stories connected to the theme of concealing and revealing will unfold, giving you a peek into the inspiration behind my artwork.

If you've missed any part of the series, don't worry. All the stories are available in the NEWS section on my website.

I’m eager to know if the latest tale resonates with you. Your insights are truly valuable, and I’d love to hear them. Feel free to share your reflections whenever you have a moment. Let's keep this creative journey going together!

SAFE HAVEN: A Summer of Girlfriend Camaraderie

Photo courtesy of Nicolaj Erema

Did you ever have a unique and memorable summer refuge where you felt completely safe?

As an artist…Some memories remain vivid, and this one stands out. In my adolescence, I had the fortune of living close to a spring-fed lake that remains etched in my memory today. The serene waters were nestled in a hollow flanked by a curved hillside on one side and a local rail line on the other. The banks of the lake were lush with an abundance of trees radiating dozens of greens, while the rhododendrons were breathtaking with their vibrant shades of pink.

Photo courtesy of Mira G

Safe haven

During sultry summer afternoons, my girlfriends and I would flock to the lake for a refreshing swim. We were captivated by the lake's mysterious depths, and the thought of the myriad of fish and creatures that lurked within its aquatic plants and mud sent shivers down our spines. To us, that lake was magical. We disturbed the reflections of the trees and flowers with our noisy splashing and swimming. When we finally grew weary, we would sprawl on our towels, utterly captivated by the natural beauty surrounding us. The buzzing of insects created a calming soundtrack that we cherished.

Photo courtesy of Cottonbro Studio

Square pegs

Despite our camaraderie, there was alienation in our lives. Have you had the experience of being left out? Our small group of friends was called "the square pegs" in high school. We didn't have activities that we could fit into. We weren't in the band because none of us played an instrument. We weren't cheerleaders or majorettes because we didn't have the athletic ability to compete in the tryouts. And nor were we members of the pep club, which required invitation and passing an initiation that schools would consider illegal today. To describe us, we were more of the bohemian type.

Photo courtesy of Aline Prado

Still feel like a "square peg"?

Gosh, I see this pattern even today as an adult. I wonder how many of us still feel like "square pegs" and try to fit in for acceptance. Do we have friends who have walked away to be with another social group? And do we have friends who have stood by us no matter what? For example, I had one friend during high school who dreamed of being part of the pep club and conformed to belong. And, in the end, I was left outside of her life. And, yes, I have had this painful teenage experience repeated as an adult. I have learned to be wiser and more discerning of the personality characteristics that led to the reoccurrence.

Friendship

Unfortunately, we have to deal with alienation in real life. The world can be where some people are thoughtless, inconsiderate, and cruel. Sometimes, they have no idea that the behavior is unacceptable. And, occasionally, they don't care. We make choices as to whom we want to associate. Are we aware that those relationships mirror who we are? Why are we friends with our friends? Have we ever taken time out to think about the answer to this question? There are many reasons for friendship; what are they? One of the answers would be that our friends bring out the best in us; isn't that why we have them in our lives?

Photo courtesy of Adrienn

A wise little lady told me that friendships are like the ocean tide; some touch shore for a short special moment, some come into your life for a while at high tide and then leave at low tide, and some wash ashore to stay for a lifetime.

P.S.

To this day, I am still entranced by the memories of that lake and the impression it left on me. So, I have attempted to capture the essence of those summers long ago in this drawing through the colors of the plants and trees, the reflections on the water, and the lake's murky depths.

THE NEXT STORY

MYSTERIES CONCEALED AND REVEALED: Discovering Family Secrets -BLACK

"Secrets no longer concealed ended the mysteries within my family. And, there was more than one."

"…some people have secrets that could solve a mystery of odd responses, emotional upsets, or hushed conversation. Families have secrets. And each generation passes on those secrets."

"I am for opening the closet door and letting the skeletons fall out!"

Black (shah-KHOHR) | pastel-graphite-colored pencil, 22" x 30 " $ 3,000

REVEALED FAITH STATEMENT: The big story behind all the drawings

Who are we? How much do we conceal? My inquiry begins with the history of the Crypto-Jews who outwardly converted during the Inquisition but continued to practice their religion, disguising it ingeniously from the authorities. Yet, even in secrecy, traces were revealed to those who knew where to look. This is just one example of how people have historically hidden their true selves. Even today, individuals often mask their identity out of fear of rejection.

Through my artwork, I explore and reconcile the uneasy feelings associated with revealing my chosen faith, Judaism. How much should I make known? When you examine my drawings, you will notice concealed Hebrew words peaking out from their abstract surroundings. I hope my artwork will encourage others to feel comfortable expressing their true selves.

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