Monday, February 16, 2009

processing at Ellis Island

Today I wondered why in the hell I started this series, knowing well I will not have enough references for what I wanted...I had to conjure up my imagination (throwing me back to the details and nitpicking)
This painting shows the morning we arrived at Ellis Island. I had forgotten that's where we where processed, until I saw a documentary on Ellis Island and it gave me a flashback.

This scene is ingrained in my memory because of what happened there. My sister and I had my dad's cameras around our necks, however I did not question why we had to have them under our coats, and the instructions not to let anyone see them, we just followed orders. When the man came to check our baggage and cedar chest he looked at me and I immediately noticed mom looking at me in a panic, she was looking at the straps of the cameras showing. I was horrified as I knew I had done something wrong. Mom looked at the guy, he smiled at mom and then walked away, she in turn went and talked to him...I never did know why these camera's would have been an issue...but the guy chose to ignore them.

In the painting I'm sitting on mom's cedar chest, she had painted the Virgin Mary on it (we aren't even Catholic), I guess maybe they would not check the chest if that was on it...well they checked the chest problem. Maybe the war made mom paranoid and this was the outcome.


  1. How wonderful that you preserve history in your paintings. The stories behind your pictures are very interesting. My compliments to your creativity, Madame!

  2. Delia -

    This is a wonderful way to walk through your past - thanks for inviting me along for the stroll. This is great!