40 Days Has September

40 Days Has September, 2010. Collage, color pencil, hand embroidery, ink, and watercolor on paper, 4 1/2 x 4 1/2"

September was an extremely challenging month, filled with struggle, heartache, doubt, disorientation and disappointment.  The above works are samples from a collection of forty small-scale pieces, which were made to provide me comfort and understanding of all that was happening around me, to me, because of me, and for me.

The production was very intensive - working one after another, piling them up, moving onto the next, revisiting various ones to embellish, trying to understand what they all mean, all the while completely submersing myself into what they are - my search to make it through this trial, one breath at a time. These journal entries were created during a period when my husband and I were away from home, and all I had with me was paper, a set of color pencils, a sewing kit, and the complimentary magazines which the hotel provided for me.  They illustrate the transition from confusion to seeking, to acceptance and healing, the number 40 symbolizing change.

Through my own hardships, I referenced the struggle of my predecessors...

It rained for 40 days and 40 nights while Noah waited patiently on the arc for a renewed earth. The physicians spent 40 days embalming Father Israel as Jacob mourned. Moses and the Israelites wandered for 40 years before reaching the promised land. Jesus fasted for 40 days, placing his body under subjection to allow the ascension of his Spirit. 40 degrees is also a semi-perfect number and is the meeting point of Celsius and Fahrenheit at -40 degrees.