Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Mood Introspection in B&W"

The Lee Clan
1960's - San Francisco, CA
(Gerene & Sal's Wedding - couple far rt)

What a photo -- not to mention how a family photo can make you feel when you were the youngest  and can remember this very day!  This is my Dad's family sans 5 missing siblings out of 12.  (Yep, that's me -- front row to the right, next to my Mom).  

So... you're probably wondering what this photo has to do with introspection?  Today, introspection has led me to another form of expression through old photographs and writing.  Isn't it interesting how you set up your day to paint or draw, get in some studio time,  and life events take you someplace else just like that?  

Today, my someplace else has been very sad... a sudden family crisis has unraveled the neatness around my most thinly padded fear.  You know -- that fear that we aren't going to live forever and that stark reality--we have or will lose our parents one day?  My Aunt Lai (she's in the photo directly above me to the left) suffered a bad stroke over the weekend and is in ICU not able to respond except through a faint nod and a hand squeeze.  Her husband is my Dad's older and last living brother (89) out of 12 sibs.  I am bonded with my girl cuzzies of the 'bad boy brothers' -- lost in Cantonese translation... (we are all 1 year apart in age).  One of us has lost her Dad over a year ago, now there is just Lai's husband David (89) and my Dad (87) and their sister Ann.  

It's not a surprise that introspection is a crucial aspect of our personality as artists.  If you understand your emotions it enables you to get in touch with yourself.  Isn't that a part of the process that motivates us to respond and participate in artmaking?  We are the group that can give ourselves over to this impulse with permission for an outward and tangible voice that makes it visible.  

There are just some days you have no choice in surrendering to an  'introspective mood'!  Finding these old photographs today came from a power and passion to reach for and recapture a time in my mind and in my life.  Like comfort foods...these are comfort photos!

Dad on far left with his badboy friends

I loved watching my Dad bowl...he was great at it!  

 At Grandma's for a birthday & opening presents.  My Dad wearing sunglasses inside!  

Every photo tells a story.  A story from the subject(s) and then another from the viewer.  These were the photos that grabbed me today.  Stay tuned for more introspective conversations and vintage photographs.  

This post is dedicated with my love for my family and holding good thoughts for my Aunt.  To everyone who is watching over their parents, and the challenge in watching them become less and less independent.  


  1. Great post. Photos are so amazing in the sense of conveying mood, and that mood can change as we revisit these static representations of memory. There is a power specific to black and white as well, be it in photographs or other mediums. I send good thoughts to you and your family.

  2. Thanks so much Rico --- Yes!!! you really get what I'm experiencing. What a beautiful way you articulate...keeps me so 'up' on continuing to write more regularly.

  3. Great blog post Cyn, and great old pics of the family! It's a tough time, but through difficult emotions can come great inspirations!

  4. Thank you for the kind words Wanugee. Revisiting these old pics are very powerful and comforting right now.