Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sofia and Martina

My almost-two-year-old grandaughter, Sofia, got to meet her almost-two-year-old cousin, Martina, when Martina, her mother and her grandmother came, from Ecuador, to visit for the month of December. The two little girls had a wonderful time together and were adorable together, except for the usual occasional tiffs over toys and such. During the month-long visit, they spent quite a bit of time at my house. I found the two little chairs that my children had when they were young, and cleaned them up so Sofia and Martina could use them. Each quickly claimed "her" chair and used them for coloring and for meals, as well as posing for photographs. Several days after Martina and her family returned to Ecuador Sofia came to spend an afternoon with me. When she spied the little chairs, Sofia looked at them somberly, then went over and patted the seat of one and said, "Martina," a bit wistfully. Then she patted the seat of the other and said, "Sofia." Now each time she comes to the house she repeats that exercise. Those little chairs are part of her memory of Martina.

Chairs become so personal. Doesn't everyone have their favorite chair? Is there a family anywhere that sits randomly at the dinner table night after night—or isn't it more the rule that we find our own place and sit in the same chair ever after?

I really like the simple, universally recognized shape of these little chairs. I have had an idea in my mind for some time to try using very neutral fabrics, with only a hint of color, and this seemed to be an opportunity to try the idea. The end result reminds me of a woodcut or intricate ink drawing. And I am perversely pleased that the color scheme is not the bright, primary colors one might expect children's chairs and toys to be.

11 comments:

Gerrie said...

I am not sure how I feel about this monochromatic almost lack of color scheme. I get a very lonely feeling of loss. The techniques and fabric choices are wonderful and spot on. Perhaps if I look at it as an antique sepia photograph, it will take away that melancholy feeling.

I love how you did the highlights on the chairs and the ball.

Kristin L said...

I does seem a little melancholy, but could be interpreted as the quiet at the end of a long day of playing. I really like the story behind it, the simple composition, and your skillful construction as always.

Nikki said...

I too feel the sadness of Martina back in Ecuador. I can feel how much she is missed. This quilt also gives a feeling of growing up. We only fit in these chair for a short period of time. Then they sit in the corner as a gentle reminder of childhood.

StegArt said...

What a lovely story and memory. These two little chairs are so sweet and although they look a little lonely, they also give the essence of two youngsters having fun at play. I knew right away this was your creation, Terry. It has your signature look, which I love.

Karen said...

Terry, your fabrics are so monochromatic and then that ball with green color is so great, you relly pulled this off in a big way. It's quiet, yet so interesting to look at.

Diane said...

Terry, it's lovely.

I didn't see melancholy here, more the sense of something fun having just ended ... the chairs in slight disarray after playtime, emptiness after childish bustle, quiet calm after activity.

Your story of Sofia and Martina (which is just adorable) adds the element of loss, but I don't get that feeling from the quilt alone.

In any event, you have captured a sweet memory in a beautiful way.

Brenda said...

I didn't find this a melancholy piece either. I love the way the chairs are at an angle to one another, it's as if they are two little people themselves.

Cam said...

What a nice memento. It is lovely. Cam

Vivien said...

Love the visual perspective and the fabric choices.

Jessica said...

I liked your piece a lot, and read this story and liked it even more! I do see the sadness, but it seems more “quiet” to me than sad. I think the ball in the one chair is very symbolic...

Françoise said...

Yes, I can feel a little sadness too. It's a beautiful story.
But the little girls will meet again next year, won't they?
Your quilt is so lovely, as usual.