When we were out West not too long ago (although now it seems like a dream), one of our closest friends gave us a gift. Our friend is Jennifer Ewing, an artist in mixed media as well as the fine arts. She and her husband Leo Germano are a dynamic duo in the Art world with their mural and fine art business that they started in 1989 as Ewing & Germano. Currently, Leo is developing his already awesome skills as a photographer, and Jennifer has branched out in workshops and events around her “Spirit Boat” series. Jennifer started this series soon after her father died in 2004. I remember visiting her studio and seeing early paintings where notes from her father were pasted on the canvas. Fast forward several years and the motif of boats, of journeys, of spiritual quests continues. To commemorate our 25th wedding anniversary, Jennifer offered us a boat from several that she had been working on.
Her boats are ingeniously simple designs and construction. A plastic bottle is cut open and that becomes the body of the boat. String, twine, tape, and paper are added to make a unique vessel. Jennifer handed us the finished boat securely wrapped and ready to go into our luggage. So we didn’t see the enclosed note until we came home.
And since she didn’t know which boat we would pick, she waited until later to add our names.
After I cut out the note, I saw it would fit nicely into the bottom of the boat.
As we saw at one of Jennifer’s exhibits, her boats are usually hung from a ceiling, drifting with the currents of air. I had an idea. First, I would fashion a “rope” out of embroidery thread.
Have you ever tried to braid embroidery thread? I don’t recommend it. Sure, it can be done, but not with my limited supply of patience. Suffice to say, the thread knotted. Next attempt:
What do I work better with than thread? Yarn, of course! And here I didn’t need to braid anything since the yarn was just the right thickness.
The Spirit Boat now hangs in our kitchen, under ceiling lights can be dimmed. It’s a lovely, warm, and comforting sight, especially when the lights are low. Given the openness of our floor plan, we have many vantage points for viewing the boat, watching it sway with the currents of a mild breeze or rock and spin when we turn on the ceiling fan.
To Jennifer & Leo: Thank you. Here’s to many, many more years of our friendship.