Thursday, September 29, 2011

Today we went to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery! I was looking forward to it for a lot time and was very excited. My husband and I visited it before but today we went there to sketch and paint. I cannot really explain my love to cemeteries. There is something very emotional, very mysterious about the place where so many people of different eras and lives are buried.
I loved going to the cemeteries since childhood. My parents took me to the Russian cemetery where my great grandmother and my grandfather from my mom's side are buried. We would meet there with my far relatives to fix the lawn around the graves and basically have a picnic with each other and past generations. It wouldn't really be any rituals except when my grandmother would pray a little and talk with the graves, but it was not creepy, it seemed to be perfectly normal.
Today I searched for the place to set up for a painting and I found this beautiful big family grave stone with the last name "Laffer-Spencer" on it. It was a main object on my painting and so I wondered who these people were and what they were like. These questions along with how they died visit me often when I walk between graves. I believe my walk and curiosity is reviving these people, some very old, some just babies. Thanks to us who come to cemeteries to remember our relatives, to visit celebrity graves or just to look at strangers' graves the memory and the honor of these people keep on living. That's why it's one of my artistic dreams to learn how to make gravestones. It's such an emotional kind of art that connects an artistic expression with the grief, pain, sadness, love, desperation - the strongest emotions that a person can have. There is also a story behind each memorial statue or a gravestone and I love when a stranger can tell who the person was just by looking at their grave.
I don't know when I will die but I know that no matter how I will die I want my grave to be able to speak with strangers and tell them who I was.

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