Like Mother, Like Daughter

As a teenager, like most other teenage girls, I insisted that I would not grow up to be like my mother, Lee Malerich.  I suppose that’s easier said than done.  I invited my mom, a local artist who blogs at Waste As A Way Of Life, to comment on our similarities and talk about her artistic perspective:

Where should we start?  The very big ideas?  OK.

Artists do not only make art, they live it and in it.  Serious art reflects the ideas, attitudes, experiences and style of the artist.  These things are interwoven and inseparable.  And changeable, but usually the change is slow.  At least that is how it works for me.

Premise 1: Creating a style:  Being an artist(s) we don’t have the money that more traditionally employed people do.  We frequent thrift shops and flea markets, looking for shapes and textures and things to repurpose to live in our home.  We sniff out free things in the wind.  We develop friendships with like people and fund each other’s eccentricities.  Old things look good to us.

Being an artist

For instance, to me, the base of this enamel table in our kitchen is awesome.  The lines and shapes scream 1930s.  This table base helped me solve a financial problem in buying the tile for the kitchen, if you will notice the floor.  I bought the majority of the tile at a sidewalk sale at Lowe’s, but there was not enough for the big space of kitchen and great room.  So I laid tile “rugs” in each room, one under this table.  The tile under the table is lighter than the surrounding, and at each corner of the “rug” is a corresponding black tile (you can only see two black tiles in this image).  The rug tile was free, and the problem was solved.  The four black squares used in the corners integrate the tile rug with the table base.  The “rug” under the table is much more interesting than had the floor simply been one broad ecru plane.  So my finances dictate another way to create and push a style forward with lifestyle needs.

being an artist

We needed a shed to house our pool equipment, pool pump, and machinery related to our sprinkler system.  My love of cheap metal (notice the lamp on the stucco column) led us to buying a used grain bin to satisfy these needs, and it was very inexpensive.  We love the little silo that has an apex that looks like the top of a Coke bottle.

Premise 2:  We live in a world that is using up all its natural resources.  This disposable society cannot thrive.  Many, many artists choose to make their work out of waste materials because they are available, beautiful, and otherwise would be in the landfill.  These artists additionally are making visual statements that describe our recent decades.

We built a barn.  Some restlessness inside of me accepted a whole group of wooden windows from a contractor friend.  I put them under a roof.  His work often was replacing old wooden windows with vinyl ones, and he kept bringing me the rejects.  He would have been charged to put them in the dump, so the solution was good for everybody.

Constructing a barn

33 old windows for this barn – everyone saved a lot of money.  Their glass is wavy and beautiful, and since this is studio and storage space and not living space, they do the job just fine.  And of course, this is South Carolina and we live in a temperate part of the world.  Glenn later added the cool awning above the entry door.

Building a barn

I hope the case is made for using old stuff.  Here is where our similarities start.

like mother like daughter

My daughter Brady, influenced by my love of old things, found this door of windows at the dump and brought it home.  Neither one of us are beyond “diving.”  She often donates at the Goodwill at the same time she goes in to buy.  She installed this on the wall,  and of course there it was for me to see.  A window on a wall as art.  Hmmm.

Some years later, here is my sculptural work.  Before now, the windows had many other incarnations as I tried to use them.  I was getting too fancy.  For me, for now, it is mostly about the interplay of the windows, and bringing these sculptures way out from the wall.  It takes some time to feel one’s way.

mother daughter similarities

Isn’t experience and influence wonderful?

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