‘Beetle Belles Lettres‘, good luck charm for poets, writers, anthologists…a publishers favorite familiar. A recurring cultural symbol en famille. Back to more insect anatomy as well. The fleur-de-lis is an incredibly majestic cultural symbol; in and that sense it is said to signify perfection, light, and life. Warning: Here’s what happens when you get a little to carried away with cultural identity. Keep reading.
Over the course of this past year, my Mamam, Rhea Cote Robbins, in a fleur-de-lis of cumulative activity in her successful attempt to publish her work, ‘Heliotrope: French Heritage Women Create’, asked me to contribute some artwork to her publication.
Truly, my greatest desire for any of my drawing is that it will be Refrigerator Art, to be admired for a few weeks, hopes pinned on by magnets, contemplated for a few seconds as one reaches for the milk. I sent along the following three pieces, with love, expecting the admiration and magnet approval that only a mother can bestow. Oh no, instead this is what happens:
For all those who create, artists, writers, poets, the whole lovely, wacky band of you; you must have moments when your brain freezes, thinking, “What have I done?”. Like parents sending their children out into the “real” world on their own; you can’t control it once it has left your house. Panic, “Oh no, come back, you’re not ready yet…”. I’m still beyond humbled; you see, this is not my trade, it’s just a passion-pastime that occasionally saves my life, keeps me sane, and is, a means of quiet self-worth. ¡¿Book covers?!
Here are some of the other submissions/sketches that were JUST SUPPOSED TO BE REFRIGERATOR ART!
‘La Fierté‘, a modern-day patron sainte’ superheroine goddette. Her habiliments, a quilt as cape and cloak. She wields her implements, pen, needle, brush, book; as tightly as treasure. Her familiar, the butterfly, Légèreté, implies metamorphosis and the eternity of the Cycle. Stylized after Renee Falconcetti (‘La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc’, 1928) and Rosie the Riveter, La Fierté is resourceful, creative and passionate about her heritage and her craft. Also moderne, with her fleur-de-lis tattoo and Zentangle quilted cape. She holds onto simple tools; in perpetuity creates a nexus of art, literature, and textile.
Here is La Fierté “unadorned. I think her fleur de lis tattoo is badass by the way.
And here’s her hair accessory/familiar/lucky charm, because that’s what ethic chicks do; they put shit in their hair because it’s smart & beautiful.
This is the illustration I was actually hoping Maman the rédactrice would select if she was going to include anything in ‘Heliotrope’, preferably on buried on page 162, anonymously.