Has anyone read The Midnight Library by Matt Haig? It's a novel about regret, something I often experienced while I painted during the first months of Covid when I stayed in my studio in Morelia all day every day and painted. Honestly, I was thrilled for the uninterrupted time to create, my regret was that I hadn’t started an art career as a young person. I imagined that I would have had a better life, that I wouldn’t have wasted years doing things I liked less. However, to have become a young artist, I would have had to stand up to my father who told me when I was twelve that he would never pay for me to go to art school. I was allowed to take art classes in high school, but only if I kept an A average. Art was strictly for spare time — after schoolwork, jobs, church, and housework. Sadly, I bought into that idea. Only in my forties could I give myself permission to become an artist, and only with the help of a therapist. During those Covid days of painting and introspection, I felt a lot of anger toward my father. Finally, my mother jumped in from the grave and said, “I was long dead by your age! You’re lucky to be alive. Don’t waste your energy having a lot of stupid regrets. Paint!” Of course she was right.
My father would have been 100 years old this month, and I’ve been thinking more about the nice things he did. It helped to read that book, The Midnight Library, about an unhappy woman who ends up in a library where each book contains one of her parallel lives, lives she might have lived except for one decision or other that she regretted. With the help of the librarian, she enters several books and walks into those lives. It's thought provoking. Meanwhile, I finished these two 16x16 in (40x40cm), mixed media pieces using papers collected by my friend Susan who passed away in 2022. I added some of my own scraps plus torn pieces from a Spanish/English dictionary because we met in Mexico.
I really felt like we were collaborating which was fun and sad at the same time. I’ve made the pieces available on my Pixels site cyndie-katz.pixels.com. Pixels is a print-on-demand company that will print art on various products. I only make a small percentage on any sale, but I like having my art out in the world in whatever form — a greeting card, a tote bag, a shower curtain. You can change the sizes of the image to suit your taste. I don’t do this with all my art, but these two pieces work well on many things.