I lost Shirley Christmas morning. She was 97 and a dear, dear friend. Because of Covid-19, our visits would happen outside in her garden. On those days, she would share her wisdom (when you get old, the only thing you have control of is your attitude!) as I listened intently to every word. I met her in a collage art class when she was 92. We were friends immediately, talked about art and our lives--but mostly I listened. And slowly, she listened to me too. I knew I could lose her at any time because she was already 92 when I met her. But I took the chance, loved her as much as I could, savored every moment --but then she was gone. Where is she now? Immersed in the colors we explored? Or is she drifting in the blackness of night, in the star-studded skies above? And is her spirit being cradled in the gentle ways she cradled mine?
I have included the three images that I used to make the composite ‘About Time’. The first layer, titled ‘What Does She See?’ refers to a world where shamans travel through the night as mythical creatures looking for answers that mortals could only guess at. When I painted it, I was coming out of the shock of the 2020 elections and found the future frightening. Soon after, I became bored with painting portraits and looked for a new art medium that would be fun, but challenging. I signed up for a collage class at the local arts council. During that time, I painted ‘My Friend Shirley’ and ‘The Creative ADHD Mind’. These last two layers of ‘About Time’ were created during the time of our friendship.
-Edie Cohn on her works included in About Time