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IMG_5044Last April, I took a deep breath and did what I had been meaning to do for months- join a divorce support group.  It was just what I needed and I found a wonderful group of women, all in similar, but very different situations.  There,  I met my good friend Caren and we bonded immediately.  

One night over dinner, our conversation turned to my career as an artist and new ways in which to express myself.   I loved designing landscapes, pet portraits, and still lifes, but now  felt compelled to share something more.  Caren and I discussed  many ideas and landed on my new subject: SHOES!

“Shopping” online at Barneys, Saks, and Bendels, and pouring over Vogue and Elle was inspiring.  I envisioned creating my version of these shoes using stained glass, 24k mosaic gold, crystals, beads, found treasures and more.  The designs would be unexpected and edgy- a real departure for me, a little less safe.

Evolving  over time,  the shoes came to represent who we are- every one different, beautiful, and equal.  The images are strong, feminine, clever, romantic, and playful;  duck boots just as special as stilettos. The objects I incorporated turned out to be more symbolic than arbitrary.  A screwdriver, drill bit, and corkscrew for the heels? Something in my subconscious chose these items for me.

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Never a big fan of fairy tales, I was surprised when  Cinderella and Snow White showed up, making this story complete.   Who hasn’t encountered unreasonable and nasty “stepsisters”, Dopeys, Sleazys or Wimpys , and the occasional prince?  These outside influences represent obstacles we face, good vs evil, things we can’t control .  These challenges make our rewards that much sweeter,  showing there is hope in our dreams.

Although my work is my passion, it’s not the easiest or most practical choice to support myself as a single mother.  With the encouragement of my friends and family,  I decided to forge ahead.

My art is like creating a jigsaw puzzle from beginning to end.  Here, in my studio, I am in control; selecting and shaping the multitude of pieces.  Putting order to chaos, making something beautiful out of what is broken.  I crave harmony and peace, listening to my instincts, knowing when something works and when it doesn’t.  Often, I rip it all apart and start from scratch, painfully disassembling what I created.  Sometimes I want to give up, but persevere instead,  trusting in myself that I will find the answer.  There’s a lot going on with these little pieces, but they eventually come together to make the bigger picture clear.

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“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time”-  Thomas Merton.  This is how I feel whether  creating or appreciating art.  It’s both  healing and soothing and can transport us to another time and place.

I designed this piece for every woman and hope you can see your reflections in the Mirror, Mirror. With life’s challenges and transitions, there’s always the possibility of something bright and sparkly on the road ahead.

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“One Shoe Can Change Your Life”

can be seen at:

Renjeau Gallery

Mixed Media Innovations

Exhibition through April 30, 2016

79 Worcester Street

Natick, MA

508-655-5121

For more information visit:

www.laurenmehrberg.com

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