Painting and Poetry Artist Statement
PAINTING AND POETRY
Known as “Bonnie” to her family and friends, my mother, Regena Larrabee Seehausen, died when I was fifteen years old. She left behind a collection of poems written throughout her short life. Her favorites were printed in a little booklet just before her death as gifts to her loved ones. She entitled it simply, “POEMS.” However, the booklet soon became known as “Bonnie’s Poems” to friends and family. I received ten copies. Unfortunately, I gave them away rather frivolously, and by the time I was in my early 20’s, only my personal copy remained. As the years passed, these poems became an increasingly treasured connection to my mother, and I longed to share them.
In 2000, I self published a few hundred additional books adding a memorial section and naming it, “Bonnie’s Poems.” It earned second place in poetry from the 2001 Colorado Independent Publisher’s Association Awards. This is a tribute solely to the quality of my mother’s writing.
Many of the poems suggest paintable images to me. Others are more elusive. Included here are my first attempts at painting illustrations of my mother’s poems…and thus I offer, “Painting and Poetry.”
-Sina Seehausen March
On “Smoke and Fire”
This poem, “Smoke and Fire” was written by my sister, Mary, six months after the death of her 20-year old son, Nathaniel. Not only did she write it, but she shared it. To me, it was the first step toward breaking free to express her incomparable grief.
In a discussion about the phenomenon of my sister’s poem, my friend, Mo Ishii, revealed that it suggested to her the image of a bird flying from a broken heart. Thus the painting.