I’ve stepped back a bit from the canning jars and boiling pots this week to enjoy a bit of last weeks labor. My morning is sublime with apple butter spread sticky and thick across crunchy crusty buttered toast. Ah such sweet labor. Part of me balks at opening a jar so soon, isn’t the point of all this canning and preserving to save it for later? It’s only been a week, for heaven sake. But no it’s meant to be eaten, finger lick’n, lip smack’n, eaten! I’ll admit the urge to hoard, and whisper “mine, all mine” while wringing my hands in greedy glee but I’m usually able to remember these bounty days will return along with a kitchen full of fruitful alchemy. The bounty is meant to be shared. There is nothing more satisfying than bringing a jar of jam to a friend’s house as a hostess gift or thank you, it’s like bringing a painting home to mom in first grade, ceremoniously holding it up and beaming “I made this!” The idea of preserving and consuming seem to be on either end of the teeter-totter of human urges. But “putting up” ones bounty is about doing both. I’ve been thinking about all the ways we put up, can, and preserve bits of us. I think that making art has some of the same elements, making something beautiful or expressive or both put into a tidy package of a painting or photograph sealing up an idea or moment to share like berries in a jar. My dad sent me an email after last weeks post about putting up all those jeweled jars of jam, he mused that perhaps he and my mom had “put up” their genes in the five grandchildren who now wander the planet as sweet and spicy and full of pleasure and potential as a jar of apple butter. Well put I thought, so while our bodies will some day be consumed we each “put up” a part of ourselves in our children, our friends, our art, our writing, and in the simple act of living fully and truly.
This “Still Life with Apple Butter” drawing was done on my new birthday Ipad! Thanks to my generous family. If you would like a print email me email@example.com and I’ll send you an 8×10 for $20. To see more art from past blog posts and other series go to http://lisathorpe.com/