Sunday, February 16, 2014


It has been a long void between the written words and me.  I have been in a period of absorbing what life throws our way.  Life and death, early morning light, winter and snow, silence and memories, ideas and a new key word for the year: expand.

Now I find myself every day working in my studio; the silence and peace a constant companion as I listen to the gemstones and beads and follow the organic shapes and lines that flow through my mind.  I absorb the days and the books I read at night.  Objects around the house remind me of stages of my life of a time when my youth thrived and now brings a smile to my lips.  Remembering!  It is not always easy but our memories are one way to trace the trajectory of our lives.

I look over by my window and I see my blue bottle collection.  Cobalt blue glass in diverse forms that filter the morning light and cast a soft glow over the plants nearby.  When I lived in Peru I remember going to a woman's studio.  She made glass in her furnace and all over her shelves were the vessels reminding me with their color of late afternoon ocean from my Caribbean island.  I was bitten by an urgent need.  A need to have some of them on my own window sill.  They have followed me from country to country and now on that South facing opening they are gloriously again speechlessly speaking to my soul like filters of the light.

In my living room there is a clay woman with huge buttocks and a long strand of large beads hanging from a hook in the ceiling. She comes from Santa Fe. Magical city.  Strolling around with my daughter I saw two of those clay figures identical and proud framing the entrance of a store around the main Plaza. I loved them.  Squat and solid they evoked to me the strength of womanhood.  We took a trip to the flea market which is filled, as all who have visited would testify, with artistic creations from so many artists and where fleas have no place.

I suddenly ran into the little woman in clay. The artist was there selling them.  I asked him why they had such big buttocks and he smiled: because they have a long way to swim to the ocean.  That was enough to convince me to get one. Now it brings the spirit of a town that I loved, where I stayed a month in the joint quest of my husband and I to find a new place to live out West.  It proved to be way too expensive to buy a house in Santa Fe and we moved here to Colorado.

When I first came here to stay, I loved all the variety of leaves that seemed foreign to me.  I collected them, dried them in my studio and they covered a huge area of tables and shelves.  To me they evoked the appeal of old forests I have seen here and their secrets and inhabitants.  They made me dream and wonder about the past they enclosed and the stories they held.  One day, I painted this watercolor and kept it for me. A memory of my move here because my husband was in love with Colorado where I had never been and the west was calling us.

Copyright 1996 Micheline Brierre

Hands have been a constant in my life.  Hands speak to me.  Everybody's hands. Our hands do menial work or meaningful tasks like a fine surgeon working on a heart.  I just think of the absolute necessity of hands to express so much of what we mean or want to convey or express.  Hands are a vital appendage ready for an artist to pick a brush, a pencil, a needle to bead as I do, to type, to cook, to hold tools to fabricate or to extend in greeting, or to join in respect as so many Asian cultures do.  Our hands are one main form of expression and say without words what we have on our mind.

I have a small collection of hands.  The most colorful one is a collage of many pieces of ceramic that I bought in a Kansas Art Show from a lady.  It symbolizes my life long love for hands.

In fact so many of the objects in this house have a history.  They seem inanimate but hold a whole part of life and its stories.  I would love to take a quick tour of your home and stare at the objects and listen to their stories that make you laugh or cry in remembrance, or smile contented with what life has taken you through.

Copyright 2014 Micheline Brierre