Guest Post: House of Memories.
Hello lovelies! This post you’re about to read is not mine. The lovely words are written by my sweet friend, Katy Kern aka Tired Of Previews. She commissioned me to paint her house and now she finally has it and asked me if she could do a guest post. I love storytelling and I love it even more when people share their stories attached to what they want me to paint. It gives a painting that much more meaning and depth. Have a read please. 🙂
Dorothy Gale was right. There really is no place like home, but the definition of what a home truly is different for everyone. For me, the time spent in the house is an integral part of making it a home. Once one lives somewhere for a significant amount of time, it becomes a place of safety, familiarity, and source of comfort. Of course, we all need a roof over our heads, but I grow quite fond of the homes I’ve lived in, almost too much some say.
This all probably stems from the fact that before I was 5-years old, my parents moved four times. Once we settled in my childhood home, I dug my roots in deeply.
This was where I spent my childhood. I learned to write, ride a bike, I sat by the fireplace waiting for Santa, my first real kiss and hundreds of other childhood rites of passages happened in that home.. Every corner of that house holds memories, good ones and bad ones. And all those experiences added up to my childhood and laid the foundation of who I am today. That house was very much a part of my childhood because it kept my secrets, hopes and dreams. It was my haven!
Okay, what does all this have to do with TJ Lubrano and her magical art? I will get to that. I promise.
When I ventured out on my own as most young adults do, wherever I landed, I tried to make that current residence my next sanctuary. However, it was not the same because the time spent in each one of those places was short lived.
On and on this went until I moved to Florida in my early 30’s. I lived there for ten years, and this home became particularly special since I became a mother there. My desire to have my children gain the same happy childhood was normal, I believe, but that was a harder task than I thought it would be.
My journey into parenthood was slightly different from most: I adopted my children from foster care, and I had to assure and reassure my children, who were 4 and 6-years old at the time of adoption that our home was now theirs. A permanent place to live, something they had never had. In fact, it was probably their 9th or 10th home, and it took them a long time to realize, understand and accept it. When it came to leaving our home and move across state, I was, emotionally, a wreck. What could I do to hold on to this place for me and my kids?
The only solution I came up with was to contact my friend, TJ Lubrano, a fabulous illustrator, and commission her to create a painting. I knew she could pull it off even though architectural paintings were not in her portfolio. She creates doodles of happiness in forms of cupcakes, inky ladies and magical creatures that will make even the meanest curmudgeon smile.
I wanted her to create a painting that captured the warmth and happiness that this Mediterranean structure provided for me and my family. Luckily, she agreed. This was my first commissioned painting ever, and I could not wait to see it. I planned on giving it to my family when we moved into our next place – the one where they would finish their childhood.
I ordered it and then a few weeks later our house went on the market. We transplanted into a rental house, and there were no offers for our home for a long time, so I asked TJ to hold off. And I am glad I did because 6 months later I found out we were moving again. This time we were moving out of Florida.
Once we knew we knew where we were moving to, I asked TJ to put the home painting back in her schedule. What timing, because within a couple of months, we got an offer on the house, found a new place to live and TJ finished the painting. In fact, the painting arrived the last day I was in Florida.
I have never been so pleased with an artistic creation in all my life. TJ captured exactly what I asked for and more. She created a perfect representation of my children’s first home. This is where they found their forever family. (“Forever family” is a term used by foster care adoptive families to help foster children understand they are now in a family for life.)
I cannot wait to give it to them! We’ll find a place to hang it together and recall all the memories we had there.
As life continues to carry on, we will walk by TJ’s painting daily; we’ll take long peeks some days, or just realize our home will always be there, in our hearts and minds because there will always be a beautiful reminder of what a true home meant for them and to me.
Thank you, TJ!
Aww you guys! I can’t tell you happy it makes me reading stories like this. Thanks so much for sharing this with us , Katy! And I hope you, yes you, the reader, I hope liked it as well! Isn’t it interesting to know why someone wants to hold on to certain memories? I just love it. It makes my imagination come alive. I will have a WIP post about this painting soon, because creating a house wasn’t something I’ve done before! Make sure to stop by her own site when you’re done reading. It’s the perfect place for movie lovers!