Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm working on a series of small paintings called Tokens of Love. In each of the paintings, the figure is holding or wearing a love token, a small object representing a feeling for or binding to another person. At first I was thinking about object memory but as I'm painting, I've been thinking that love tokens really just evoke memories of connections, not hold emotion themselves. Duh. I still think there might be something to object memory, maybe.
Because my quirky little head doesn't always serve as well as I wish, I am a collector of tokens. I have them in cigar boxes, in the cabinet in my studio, taped in sketchbooks and in with my jewelry. I found a little plastic boy in my coat pocket a couple of nights ago. It was a gift from my friend Leann from a trip we had been on. It made me giggle, remembering when she gave him to me. I'm keeping that little plastic boy in that pocket so I can find it again. I also found a little figure that I had purchased in Spain when I was twelve. My family lived there for a while and I collected these little clay figures of witches and flamenco dancers etc. with my allowance. That token brought back a flood of memories. I have kept strange little things that remind me of my babies too. I don't know what I'm going to do with all of their baby teeth, maybe make a cool reliquary for them.
I love little tokens that remind me of how I feel/felt. Sometimes songs do that too. When I showed Dan the above painting he said she was, "strange and beautiful." Since then I have been humming the song, Strange and Beautiful, by Aqualung. Last winter I must have listened to that song a hundred times. Hearing it triggered memories, taking me back.
I still want to paint three more little paintings for this series and I have a list of love tokens that I could use but if anybody has any suggestions or good stories, feel free to comment.
Posted by Picasa


Nigel said...

I made my wife some funky earrings out of gold-leafed wooden dowels. Whenever she wears them, I feel like the greatest husband in the world. So, jewelry as love tokens?

On an unrelated topic, I've been wondering how you price your paintings? I've been using a per square inch system that yields reasonable pricing for smaller paintings. But I'm wanting to do bigger pieces, and the pricing goes up exponentially. Suddenly, a 36x48 is like $9,000. I think it's "more than the market will bear". Any ideas?

cassandra said...

Funny! I had to look at your myspace to figure out who Nigel was and that was just last night. I was also thinking that same thought, jewelry is often a token of love.
I price by size but not by square inch. It's too big a leap from small to big so I made up my own scale and sometimes I adjust that according to detail. $900 for 9X12and $4200 for 24X48 ...or something like that. Do you have any shows up right now?

Laura A said...

I have a collection of every little note Nate ever wrote to me about anything. Post-it notes, Franklin planner pages, hundreds of cards... all adorned with declarations of love. I write the date on the back and stash them in a drawer or a journal.

I have books that are love tokens. Meaningful titles that are inscribed by the people who gave them to me. It's kind of funny, because I'm not a reader, but I read the inscriptions, and the fact remains that it was a thoughtful gift.

Nate likes to buy me things. One day, a couple of months ago, I was struck as I was walking through the house by all the things surrounding me that he's bought over the years as a token of love. The fish tank in our bedroom, the christmas cactus on the counter that has beautifully survived through years of inconsistent care, items relating to every hobby or interest I've passed through in the last 14 years, numerous pieces of art, including my collection of yours, art glass bowls, extremely hard to find pieces of the milk glass I collect... everywhere I looked, I could see them, and in many cases, they represent a sacrifice on his part.

I don't know how you'd paint this, but I've been thinking about romantic stories, whether in movies or books, and how they're always so dramatic, heroic, and set in extreme circumstances. I understand how that makes for better entertainment, but I've been pondering on how possibly the most romantic stories are the quiet ones. The sweet husband that faithfully devotes his life to his wife and family, and works and provides for them for years and years, after the thrill of the "hunt" and excitement of "new" love has passed.

That level of devotion and endurance is certainly a better demonstration of true love than any romantic movie that I've ever seen.

cassandra said...

Laura- That is so nice. Your comment made me all warm. That's a good man you've got. My husband is a gift giver as well. He's very sweet. Lucky you and me too.
PS will respond to your email soon...gotta paint.

Nigel said...

laurel a's hubby seems way on top of things in the token dept. I feel less great now.

I'm in two galleries. I'm in a group show in the Calif. gallery (
and I'm showing at a SLC gallery (
I have one person shows coming up at both galleries, one in March and one in April...

Laura A said...

Oh no! Please don't feel less great. That wasn't my intent at all. I feel horrible.

And Nate has never made me jewelry. :-).

cassandra said...

I personally like gifts...a lot! But I have to say that the ones that mean the most to me were not always the most expensive ones but were the ones that had meaning and were given with real true emotion. The giver might even forget but the one who has that token as a reminder will always remember. Sigh...
Nigel, not everybody's wife needs tons of gifts but Laura and I do so just go make a matching necklace for your wife and that will be lovely.
Laura, if your husband has a lull, and mine does too then let me know and I'll send you a gift and you can send me one...okay? time I see you I want you to give me a gift too...k?

Laura A said...


batty said...

Thinking about Tokens of love, I came up with 3. Steve loves to draw little creatures and funny people and leave them around the house where I will find them. It makes me laugh - or he passes me them in church and that can be a problem. I've been known to start laughing and not be able to stop - not so good when you're trying to be an example to the kiddies.
Another thing he does has to do with music, of course. He makes me CD's for certain occasions. I get Love songs on Valentines and he just made me a birthday 2 cd set, of songs from when we were dating and first married. I had forgotten about alot of the music but so many memories came flooding back as I listened. Wow.
The most important thing he gives me is time. His time. I know there are a million things trying to devour his time, but he usually wants to be with me. And that is AWESOME coz I'm not always fun to be with. I just think that TIME is one of the most important things we can give to others.
Speaking of that, let's get together soon! Your new paintings are terrific!

Nigel said...

Yeah, I'll bring you a diet coke, how's that sound? My dear wife dislikes necklaces, but she likes Hershey bars with almonds. I try to keep some stashed.

I think I'll need to do a pricing structure like yours. I just love the consistency of using square inches so much.


Related Posts with Thumbnails