Sunday, September 06, 2009

For IsAbel

Handmade paper sculpture by IsAbel Beaudoin
A great lady and artist died this week, IsAbel Beaudoin, one of my heroines and inspirations. Like all great creative people, she was an original. There was no one like her, and there never will be again. It was a privilige to know her, if only briefly. I'd started this poem just a few weeks ago, and it may not be polished or finished...
"...originality above all else."
It was all there, all that was left
of the passion that consumed her...
prints, metal sculptures, fabric, batiks;
Noah's Ark--the procession of carved animals
marching across an entire wall;
handmade paper, cast and painted;
a purple lady, tall and regal,
like IsAbel herself,
oils, watercolors, acrylics, pastels,
all the pieces shining as brightly as she.
Two times I was privileged to meet her,
once at her home, with bright batiks fluttering
from a clothes line in the sun,
like flags announcing the country of art,
and then at the great show of her life's work,
with treasures enough to fill a warehouse,
where she looked at me from her wheelchair,
smiled and said,
I'd like to paint you in those blue beads...
Today, at eighty seven, IsAbel is failing.
Creation no longer emerges
from those trembling hands,
and that is how we know, her caregiver explains.
Except for one day, the woman says,
when she arrived to find a plain white cabinet
that held IsAbel's paints had been transformed.
Tall trees danced on the doors
and sides of the white box,
painted in a shaky hand, but vibrant and alive.
IsAbel never could bear a colorless world,
not when there was so much splendor in hers.
~Sharon Auberle
In Memoriam: IsAbel Beaudoin 1921-2009


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