Monday, June 20, 2005

Reading Journal Entry: New Mercies

Natchez, in 1933 is a place suspended in time. The silver and china are still dented and cracked from Yankee invaders and people have very long memories and even more secrets. When Nora Bondurant receives a telegram informing her of the murder of an aunt she didn't even know existed, she boards the train to Mississippi more to run away from painful memories than to see what she has inherited. Avoca is the name of the once magnificent home of her father's people. Now it is literally crumbling bck into the earth it stands on.

Two stories are slowly revealed. First there are Nora's memories of her life with her ex-husband and guilt over her part in his death; and second, tidbits that the locals reveal about her aunt cause Nora to believe that Amalia may have actually been her grandmother. As Nora becomes more and more enmeshed in Natchez life, her earlier scorn for all things southern, gives way to appreciation. In searching for answers to Amalia's life and death, she comes to grips with the enormity of David's betrayal and discovers there are new mercies to heal her pain.

The background for these pages was made by first brushing them with a quinacridone magenta glaze. When that was dry, I brushed on Anita's acrylic paint in "Running River" green. Before it was completely dry, a damp piece of boat sponge was pulled across to lift off parts of the paint, letting the magenta glaze show through.

The left page features a photocopy of a Natchez antebellum home, covered with a piece of printed vellum (that's the flowers and butterflies.) I used a pointed nib and Dr. Martin's Iridescent Calligraphy Color in "Copperplate Gold" to write the title and author.

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