As a young girl, I lived with my family in a magical house in the land of the fairytales. It was big, and made of brick, marble, and brass, the windows were shuttered, and the sides and back were completely covered in ivy. Inside were three dark-stained wooden floors. The heat went out frequently in winter, and my mother cooked for us over the fireplace. On the third floor was the forbidden room to us kids, which of course, we found our way to explore. I remember the very first time that door got opened up, because it was forbidden and we had no permission to be there, it was all the more exciting! Then when that door opened, and we saw a room FULL of armor, helmets, feathers, and swords... we realized beyond our wildest dreams that we had discovered a true treasure land for the imaginations of a six, five and 3 1/2 year old!
At the bottom of the drive was a tall wrought iron gate attached to a fence of the same that enclosed the entire compound in which we lived. There was a fruit orchard, and berry patch. A vegetable garden, and a yard full of what as kids, was to us, called sour grass. The yard was terraced, meaning the back area was raised on a level higher than the front, on what all told amounted to maybe a half acre. In the back lived the small herd of sheep and lambs, and that entire private outside world came with a gardener who used to sit at the tall kitchen windows with my mother and speak in the foreign tongue of the place where we all were. It was also the last place we all were a family.
Oh, it was a house we did not get to live in long enough! To my sadness, I found out years later that this was in fact the truth as my mother and brothers and I all returned a year before we were scheduled to.
I have never let go of the memories of that place or time in my own childhood, and I have allowed it to influence how I see myself, and to shape through imaginative memory what my aesthetic, in fact what many of my preferences in life are.
first steps, acrylic on board