Story entry 20 - Hampden Half Sisters
Pearl and Ruby had the same mother, Adelaide Smith, but different fathers and this alone was scandal enough for the small working neighborhood of Hampden in the early 1900’s. But there was more. Ruby was so named because of the purple-red color of her skin (she took after her father) and her appearance made their family even more scandalous. Not simply because the child looked monstrous (with long fingers, yellow eyes, and horns, as well as her skin color), but because the mother kept her and raised her like any regular child; just the way she raised her other daughter Pearl who was born six months after Ruby. Ruby’s father was a traveler and never even knew he was a dad before he went on his way, but in the short time he and Adelaide knew each other, he did tell her some interesting things about suvians. Most importantly, suvians are able to disguise themselves as a human once they have reached puberty, which happens at the same age as humans and the other ting she had learned was that suvians need to consume arsenic for good health.
Both of Adelaide’s children were miracles. Ruby was the first half breed born from a suvian and human union and Pearl was born three month premature and although she was weak at first, she grew quite strong. Pearl’s father (Arthur) married their mother and raised them both as his daughters. The girls grew up as each other’s best friends. They consoled each other from the damage that the hurtful words and harmful objects that were thrown their way caused. Often times the words hurt worse than the stones or onions or rotten apples.
Ruby and Pearl’s parents took them to the stores or to the harbor to get food fresh off of the ships that came in. They shopped for clothing with them and without hesitation. Eventually though, the family decided to remain indoors and away from the scrutiny of their neighbors.
Years passed without anyone ever seeing anyone come or go from the home. Lights would come on and curtains would move, milk was delivered and under the cover of night the empty bottles were put out on the stoop, but never was anyone seen. The neighbors eventually even forgot what they looked like.
When Ruby became old enough, Adelaide and Arthur explained to her that they loved her just they way she was, but if she wanted, she had the ability to look just the same as he sister Pearl or her parents. Ruby learned quickly how to do it and one evening they all left their home and never returned to it. The door was just left open and when neighbors explored, they only found furniture. No personal items remained. The Smith family bought a new home in town where no one knew who they were and settled in perfectly.
Artist of the month - Karina Kalvaitis
Self-proclaimed "Potato Fiend" Karina Kalvaitis was born in Brooks, Alberta, Canada, but mainly grew up in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Karina also have lived in various places in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Kalvaitis has been creating art her whole life, starting at an early age, with art supplies always around from her artist mother. She is a full time artist that majored in sculpture at Alberta College of Art and Design where she graduated with a BFA. While in college she discovered that her initial interest as a photographer was replaced with the passion for three dimensional art, because she felt less enamoured with the technicality of photography. Karina has shown her 2D and 3D works in galleries all over Victoria and is currently showing here sculptures in a solo show at Arc.hive Artist Run Centre (where she has her studio) and the title of the show is Age of the Unseen World. A perfect title for the incredibly strange yet familiar creatures she comes up with. Her sculptures come in limited edition “Litters” and are made with a wide variety of beautifully-dyed felted wool, glass beads (for weight), clay, and varnish. With these simple materials Karina is able to create complex-emotional lifeforms that call out to us on a deep and personal level. They are intangible emotions that have been given form - to observe, sit with, and protect.
When Karina Kalvaitis is not working on her sculptures, she also illustrates animals with watercolors that she sells as prints and cards, as well as builds props and sets for the theatre and opera, and even manages to find time to take her bike out for the occasional bike tour.
Check out her magnificent work via the following links -
As of October 2016, I intended to use this blog as an accompaniment to my Facebook page and Instagram page. On this blog I post information and updates about my work as well as once a month I highlighted an artist whose work I like (I stopped doing this when I opened my gallery www.GalleryBlueDoor.com). As of March 2017, I began posting a monthly Story Entry with an accompanying illustration of mine. In mid-2019 I took a break from this, but it will resume.