I have noticed I never really evaluate the past year until February. I guess it is because Christmas is just really busy, also it is one of the few holidays not attached to a death for me. February marks the beginning of the year because it begins the cycle of the death anniversaries for me and my family. My father's mother and mother's father died only a couple of hours apart on Feb. 1. Then within a five year period, we lost another ten family members. Uncomfortable situations with grief and mourning lead me to my current body of artwork as well as becoming a mediator.
These anniversaries are used as a guide me for the next year, the missing pieces and parts where I need to understand my emotional intelligence better, provide support or buttresses, sketches are created during this reflection, and the continued collecting and collaging often rages. It is also a memorial that reminds me to tell those I care about they are loved, alive or dead. Valentines Day has a dark origin and has grown sweeter over the years while becoming more commercialized, that is true. And who knows, what all that red flocking is doing. This time reminds me that "peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflicts" - Dorothy Thompson.