Around a month or two ago, I started a project that would explore everywhere I’ve lived + the memories I associate with those places.
This is the first in the series– a look back to my childhood spent in Arcadia, California.
A run-through of all the objects I painted + what particular memories they stand for:
1. Barbie roller skates - They were used+given to me by a friend who, one time, made me electrocute myself by convincing me to stick a key inside an electric outlet.
2. Beach shovel + pail - Family beach trips + playing in the sand.
3. Dolphin - Holly Avenue Elementary School’s mascot. We moved right before I would have been placed in the Gifted+Talented program.
4. Runaway note - I “ran away” from home once. Really, though, I just sat outside the apartment + cried.
5. Zebra finch - We had two as pets. My dad told us they escaped when he was cleaning out the bird cage. They probably died, instead.
6. Red nail polish - Our upstairs neighbor babysat my sister+me & would paint our nails while watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
7. Red fence - It was tall + closed off our apartment’s front entrance. I’d climb over it sometimes because I forgot the key to the lock.
8. Watermelon - When I was a kid, my family called me the Watermelon Queen because I loved watermelon so much, I’d eat the white rinds.
9. Mom’s cacti + other plants - I liked the aloe vera because it healed all my cuts.
10. Carpenter bee - Swarms of them would hover around the passion flower bush planted to one side of our apartment complex’s lawn.
11. Earthworm - When it rained, I’d always go outside to collect all the earthworms. Then, I’d pile them inside this hollow metal pole outside the apartment’s front entrance.
12. Winnie, the wiener dog - My parents ran a mini-market called Alta Dena, and one of their employees asked us to take care of her dog for a week. I loved Winnie.
13. Stolen mail - I stole my neighbor’s mail once. Inside were two Jesus cards, and one of them had a picture of golden retriever puppies on them. I kept that one.
14. Monkey bars - My favorite school playground equipment was always the monkey bars. I had the tough, blistery hands to prove it, too.
15. Cookie - I was a Girl Scout. I was really shy about knocking doors + selling people cookies.