Thursday, February 7, 2008

Remembering (fondly) Miss Jean Webb

The other evening I got an unexpected telephone call from a woman from the Ohio Arts Educators Organization. I grew up in Ohio, and I am a (part-time) arts educator- but I couldn't quite understand why someone was calling me from that group. Then it became clear: she was inquiring about my Great Aunt Jean Webb- who lived in Ohio and also was an arts educator. She wants me to write a few paragraphs about her and send some images of the art I have of hers in my own home.
That call brought back a flood of memories tinged with a few regrets.
My Aunt Jean was a true original. When I was younger I was a sullen idiot. I loved going to her house which was full of color and all of her odd and wonderful creations. Now, my parents were
no slouches in the home creating game, but Aunt Jean's house was even more eccentric and exotic. It was all done in shades of blue, green, aqua, grey and lilac, smelled of lilac and powder and even if the music wasn't playing it seemed you could hear DeBussy's "La Mer" in the background.......
But once I got there I clammed up and never asked the questions. I never made that connection with her that I know she would have welcomed. Oh, I soaked it all in and can see her influence in my own work and tastes now, but when I think of the opportunity I let slip by, I am abashed.

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