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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Reflective [20090312|23:00]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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I went fishing through one of my many plastic tubs of inspiration and memory the other day, searching for some shells to use on my latest triptych of canvases. (Side note: I'm getting close to having a gallery of canvases. Really, there will be about a dozen new pieces to share within the next month, if I can finish them all off.) I found, amongst my collection, the following item, which had been carefully wrapped in tissue paper and placed in the bottom of a tub.

Cleavage & tenacity collection


My grandfather gave this to me when I first began showing an interest in science. I distinctly remember memorizing the rock hardness scales and rock types and wanting to be a geologist. He took me to the annual geological exhibition at the Seattle Science Center several times. We went to the Thunderegg site in Oregon, where there's a deposit of beautiful geodes that you could watch being cracked open and polished. I have no idea when he obtained this particular cardboard concoction, but I suspect that since he brought it with him from the east coast of the US, it must be at least 60 years old.

I'm only beginning to understand the symbiotic appreciation he tried to give me of art and science. It's a shame I can't share it with him because he's been dead for nearly eight years.

I've been working on a piece dedicated to him. It only needs an appropriate frame. It amuses me to think that he'd probably hate it, given his blanket dismissal of abstract art as meritless rubbish. But it says what I want to say about my relationship with him.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: angelcityblues
2009-03-12 23:23 (UTC)
I smiled for the first time in days when I read this.

thank you.
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[User Picture]From: seismic
2009-03-13 00:19 (UTC)
Me too, actually.

Yes. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-03-16 19:43 (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your reaction. It helps to make the effort (painting & posting about it) worthwhile.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-03-16 19:47 (UTC)
You're welcome. After the times you've been having, I'm happy to have been able to do something small to lighten your day.
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[User Picture]From: 3g0
2009-03-13 02:12 (UTC)
This was really sweet. I know just how you feel wrt grandparents & I love the painting - it suits the story.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-03-16 19:46 (UTC)
Thank you. It's funny, I was telling the bloke about how my grandfather used to sit me down in front of a carefully lighted candlestick/apple/pen/other small object and have me draw it. Then he'd go over my drawing and show me my mistakes - changing the proportions, emphasizing highlights, adding shadows. The bloke said, "He sounds tyrannical!" Which is funny, because in some ways he was, but I never felt that way about it. He never gave me unnecessary criticism and he gave praise when it was due. It's just that as soon as I achieved something, he set the bar a little higher the next time.
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[User Picture]From: smallfurry
2009-03-13 03:44 (UTC)
aww. i remember collecting rocks as a child, i was really into it, too. I found my box with different kinds of rocks glued to a piece of cardboard on it a few years ago, and gave it to my friend's son, who will almost definitely be some sort of scientist one day (but probably not a geologist). hooray for passing on science!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-03-16 19:49 (UTC)
Awesome! I still have some bits of cardboard with rocks glued to them like that, and a wire "tree" with small rocks glued to the branches that I'm pretty sure I made at the geological show one year.
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[User Picture]From: nimoloth
2009-03-13 11:50 (UTC)
I was into rocks too. We even got a tumbler for polishing them. There are a couple gem and rock museums in Scotland that I found (find) quite fascinating.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-03-16 19:51 (UTC)
Ooh, lucky you for having the tumbler. My cousin & I wanted one, but then we decided we wanted a microscope more so we got that instead. I'll have to look up the Scottish museums and come for a visit. :-)
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