In Search of a Mirror…just reflecting!


Submitted 10 months ago
Created by
elizabethricketson.art

I had a delightful day yesterday…no, a really delightful day yesterday!

Leaving the little Vermont house on the hill and slipping across the boarder to New Hampshire was the decision of the day. Yes, a big travel day! An outing was on tap with a number of errands planned and a new destination to be discovered.  I had been happily tucked away in my studio for days working and only venturing out to run. The studio is my preferred world, my greatest pleasure and I make no apologies. A few stops in Woodstock scheduled before the journey to unknown parts began. A bit more caffeine would be required as the first three cups of the day had outlived their efficacy. Mon Vert  Café (https://www.monvertcafe.com) was to be the very first stop.  While sipping and enjoying a mocha latte perfectly made and hitting every note my husband, Jon, and I chatted about the day ahead. Actually, the mocha was even better than I could have imagined so was this an omen for the adventure ahead? More unexpected pleasures and surprises? Before we headed to NH there was one more stop, to another of my many favorite shops in Woodstock, the Collective, The Art of Craft (http://www.collective-theartofcraft.com). We needed to pick up one more item for our home renovations from Kingfisher Forge (https://kingfisherforge.com). Having found just the right iron works item we were on our way to the real quest of the day…

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We have just recently finished our second round of renovations with the incredible Upland Construction (http://www.uplandconstruction.com), headquartered in Woodstock, which included two new bathrooms. For me, as we decided on our new interior design I imagined a blank canvas where I had a vision of keeping the foundation clean, bright and simple as it is a vehicle to display my art. Priorities!!!!

Renovations completed just prior to last Christmas included the main bath.  Well, except for some accessories and namely the mirror we were finished. The space to be employed by a mirror has been available for weeks.  A near constant reminder of an unfinished task and even mocking me a little. Was it meaningful that I was procrastinating buying a mirror, filling the void, or was it a deliberate omission? Did we really need a mirror?

I was not horribly inconvenienced to use the antique mirror on my bureau in our bedroom to apply make up and do my hair but what story or reflection did that aging mirror tell? After all it is the mirror that is aging, right? How much importance and trust do we put in our mirrors? Mirrors reflect light and can create an illusion. Was that the main function for this addition to the bath? Mirrors also reflect truth, perception, a glimpse on how we view ourselves and possibly how others might view you? Mirrors have always been a vehicle of discovery.  In Feng shui mirrors are thought to bring calm like the elements of water and properly placed in a room can be quite meaningful and helpful I suppose. Spiritually a reflection of the soul? In literature, I like Sylvia Plath’s use and meaning, of a mirror, in her aptly titled poem “Mirror…the search for oneself. As you can see a mirror is no easy purchase as it is weighted with meaning and significance.

We had gone through a list of possible places to buy a mirror and had investigated some of the many options but this house, this renovation, this home dictated something unique and special. I wasn’t going to waste all that procrastinated energy on any old mirror. No, this required more thoughtfulness. On to Claremont, NH. We worked with Doug, the owner, of American Plate Glass (http://www.americanplateglass.com) who added the new fabulous shower glass doors (mirrors, glass doors…ugh, so much imagery to explore!!!). We had decided to have a custom mirror made. Doug recommended Claremont Custom Framing to compliment the actual mirror he would cut for us and conveniently located on the same premises as his company. We would purchase exactly what we wanted…we thought we knew exactly what we wanted and needed for that spot…we THOUGHT we knew!

We found our way to Claremont, parked and entered the shop. To the left were racks of framing possibilities, beautiful art on the walls, stunning black and white photography meeting my vision throughout and to the right bookshelves filled with art books. Cezanne joined by all the other greats. This was no ordinary shop…enter the owner David. A gracious and lovely man attentively listening and asking pertinent questions during the mirror selection process. David explained his process using a mirror to help us select a mirror. A mirror within a mirror challenged the world and definition of metaphysics in a profound way for me. I relaxed around the idea and of course he was right. The first selection he made for us was the one we ultimately chose. I wonder how often that happens but for whatever reason we need to go through an extended and more complicated process. Why do we seem to challenge and distrust when we see something we know that rings true just because it was the first or came too easily? As we easily chatted and learned more about each other it became so much more about our shared love of art. Our vision for our mirror changed dramatically as did our reason for this visit. It soon became more apparent that we were in this shop, meeting this man for a different purpose. David explained about his work with fellow artists and collectors and so soon phones were out, information shared, and Instagram connections made. Suddenly framing mats were surrounding and cropping images of my paintings on his phone while he provided one meaningful critique after the other. Magic! As with the reflection in a mirror, I was reminded today to stay true to myself and most importantly to my art. We are our best when we understand our own genuine reflection and not try to live through another’s.  My most successful pieces are those that truly reflect this artist and not who I think I should be but my what I know to be inherently true. A mentor he will be…

Yes, when the mirror is built, installed and in its destined location, what will the reflection show? The design of the mirror has nearly lost its importance as when we look at our new addition we will reflect and remember an extraordinary visit. That is the thing about life…you never know where the day is going to take you or who you will meet. Sometimes we meet people who enhance our life for mere moments or possibly a lifetime…either way it is an extraordinary experience and adventure!

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