I was hoping that at my artist residency, I could work on a collaborative project with my son. I really had no idea what I would work on when I was there, but was hoping it would present itself.
As I sat in my room in the heat of the day I did some sketches, I heard the tick tick tick of an old typewriter in the room next to me. I went to see what was going on, and my son looked up at me excitedly and exclaimed that he was typing. He was in love with the ancient machine.
One of the local poets writes all of her poetry on this type writer. It was like magic to my son. This was when I got the idea for our collaboration.
I asked him to type out his story. To write about our travels together, of what travel meant to him, and his thoughts and experiences.
Shortly into typing this out, the ribbon ran out of ink and there was no replacement. The residency is quite isolated so there’s no place to get a replacement ribbon. Deciding that this wouldn’t deter us, I decided to interview my son.
We sat out under the olive trees and I asked him to tell me what travel and culture and experiences meant to him. Listening to him speak about loving being able to play with the other kids, experiencing new things, and seeing how people do things differently throughout the world, my heart continued to fill with love.
When we were done, he ran off to play with the other kids. I began to paint his words onto a wooden panel. I did decided to white wash them, just as the trulli houses that we were staying in are white washed. This would be the background for my painting.
When I first came to Kansas City, I did a painting of me on a map of Kansas City. To this day it is still one of my favorite paintings. It speaks of the unknown, and of optimism. My son has seen this painting many times and adores it. When he was younger, he asked me if I would paint him into it. I decided that over his words on the wooden panel, I would paint him and me.
I did not have the proper supplies at the residency, so I was unable to finish the painting there. It is something I plan to finish in the next few weeks.