MIXED MEDIA on HANKIES
When my younger son died in 2020, I looked for comfort and found it in my collection of vintage handkerchiefs, some from the sock drawer of my childhood, some from my grandmothers, my mother, from friends or picked up at flea markets. Using hankies as a medium for remembering S, I created four works about asking forgiveness for misguidedly urging him to try harder, dropping his ashes into the lake and imagining them swirling up and joining the stars (thanks to a monogrammed C on a hankie turned upside down), slicing open my heart and painting the morning glories within with my own blood, and cutting threads (with Aunt Julia’s carving knife) to say a final goodbye.
MIXED MEDIA on KNITTED BERETS
I often paint with watercolors. But I as I travelled through grief, I liked the irony of using the gentle pastime of knitting to make art about a terrible subject. These hats may resemble berets for the outside of my head, but I made them to show what was inside my head.
AND NOW IN 2023, I am back to making watercolors again. Turning again to my vintage hankies, I found just the right ones to connect my grandaughters’ exuberance to my own childhood memories. Now it is they who bring innocence, humor, energy, love and pure delight to my world. Painted and sewn with copper thread onto hankies and nylon net, here is my joy.
I taught painting and drawing at college and high school levels in California in the 1970s and ‘80s, showing regularly at the Braunstein/Quay Gallery in San Francisco, and participating in many shows in the Bay Area. But needing another way to support my growing family, I eventually went back to school.
With two new master’s degrees in special education and School Administration, I returned again to teaching, but this time as a specialist in the areas of teaching and learning in upstate New York. I spent very little time doing artwork as days were filled with classroom teaching, leading professional development, and raising three children.
After retiring, I moved from New York to Chicago in 2015. What pleasure at last to have time to work through ideas, rediscover art skills, and create again.
2001 MS School District Administration, SUNY Cortland
1992 MS Special Education, SUNY Albany
1973 MFA, UC, Berkeley
1972 MA, UC, Berkeley
1970 BFA, U of M, Ann Arbor
2018-present Working Artist, Chicago IL
2015-2018 Reading Tutor, Chicago IL
2005-2012 Special Education Teacher, Oneonta NY
1999-2005 Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Staff Development Specialist, Oneonta NY
1991-1999 Special Education Teacher, Schenectady, NY
1978-1989 Fine Arts Teacher, Head-Royce School, Oakland, CA
1978-1979 Fine Arts Lecturer, Academy of Art College, San Francisco
1978-1979 Fine Arts Lecturer, University of California, Davis
© Julia Huette Costanzo