This is one of the first images for my new collection on strengthening families. I am calling it. “Gardners of Liberty”. It is a collection that is centered around the family being the strength of our nation and keepers of our liberties. I am really excited about this collection. It is a part of my New Years Resolution of creating more art work. With being a mom of 4 under 7 yrs old and an army wife…life gets really crazy and I find myself putting my art on the back burner more often then I would like…when really it is the fuel that keeps me going. Believe it or not I think I have around 20 images that I have already staged, produced and shot…but they have been sitting on my computers and back up hard drives…for I don’t want to even admit how long. So the time has come to “getter’ done”. You will be seeing a lot of new images coming out soon. I also am starting a new practice of documenting the different stages that I am creating the images in. So with each new image I am going to put the stages on my blog here and Facebook like page. I think it is really fun to see how images come to life. This next one I was going one direction and I was not feeling it then at stage 5 it just popped. I still have more to do on it. But I have found it is good to take it to a point then walk away and come back a day or so later with a new fresh look and finish it off. So here is stages 1-6.
This first image is called. “Menders of Liberty” It represents parents teaching and guiding their children in nurturing and looking after their freedoms. I have a couple inspirations for this shot and collection. First is my friend Kimberly Fletcher and her amazing foundation Homemakers For America and their project “Gardners of Liberty”. Kimberly and her amazing women truly inspire me. The others that inspired me…My husbands family owns a western town with a dinner show theater in Mesa, AZ called the Rockin’ R’ Ranch. There he and his family have performed songs of the old west and patriotic songs as a family for over 30 yrs. My hubby was their drummer since he was 15yrs old.(for about 20 yrs.) Many a nights I would watch the show and my father-in-law Big Jim would perform a song and poem called “The Ragged old Flag” by Johnny Cash. I just love the poem and his performance of it. It would always make me cry even though I have seen it literally 100 times at least. That was the inspiration for this image.
I walked through a county courthouse square,
On a park bench an old man was sitting there.
I said, “Your old courthouse is kinda run down.”
He said, “Naw, it’ll do for our little town.”
I said, “Your flagpole has leaned a little bit,
And that’s a Ragged Old Flag you got hanging on it.
He said, “Have a seat”, and I sat down.
“Is this the first time you’ve been to our little town?”
I said, “I think it is.” He said, “I don’t like to brag,
But we’re kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag.”
“You see, we got a little hole in that flag there
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing _Oh Say Can You See_.
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin’ at its seams.”
“And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on through.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag.”
“On Flanders Field in World War I
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp and low by the time it was through.
She was in Korea and Vietnam.
She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam.”
“She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
And now they’ve about quit waving her back here at home.
In her own good land she’s been abused –
She’s been burned, dishonored, denied and refused.”
“And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land.
And she’s getting threadbare and wearing thin,
But she’s in good shape for the shape she’s in.
‘Cause she’s been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more.”
“So we raise her up every morning,
Take her down every night.
We don’t let her touch the ground
And we fold her up right.
On second thought I DO like to brag,
‘Cause I’m mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag.”
Written by Johnny Cash
Image name is “Menders of Liberty”
Special thanks to my good friend Lorri Craig and her beautiful children for modeling:)
I also Swapped the flag and covered or fixed feet or hands into different positions.
I added a black line outline to some of the image to give it a penciled in look. Similar to what Norman Rockwell would do.
added an oils texture to the shot
I am going to walk away for a couple days and come back to play some more on it.
Helen Thomas Robson