Monday, February 25, 2013

Gingerbread House

The grocery store I shop at has an annual gingerbread house contest, prize being $500.  I had never made a gingerbread house before, but last year I thought to myself, "I'm an artist.  How hard can it be?"  So I designed and built one for the Christmas of 2011.  It was loads of fun.  I wanted to depict a scene that embodies the best of the Christmas spirit: that of giving secret service.  It built a skeewampus log cabin using chocolate licorice for the logs walls.  There was a little family on the doorstep, having just discovered the basket left by two others peeking around the corner.  The chimney has a bird sitting on top, wings wrapped around him to show there's no fire in the fireplace.  I had such fun making it.

When we delivered it for the contest, I was proud and nervous.  But my heart sank when I saw the enormous replica of the Provo Tabernacle, a historic and well loved local landmark that was destroyed in a fire a year ago.  Every roof tile was laid with necco candies.  It must have been 4 foot square.  It was beautiful.  I almost backed out the door with my little cabin.  But I left it anyway.  The tabernacle won the grand prize.  It was a given.

But I got to take my little cabin home and enjoy it with my family.  When Christmas was well over, a dear friend told me I should keep it instead of throwing it away.  It sat on my counter for a few months before it started to fall apart, and I knew there would be no safe place to store it, nor did I want to bother piecing it back together.

So finally one morning, I let me kids dismantle it.  It was a little disturbing the delight with which they ripped it apart.  It was reduced to rubble in less than 10 minutes.  My happy little gingerbread family still smiling at me from the bottom a plastic bag.  Sigh.  Such is the transience of art.  Rumor has it a retired comic artist I admire who has turned to landscape painting burns his paintings as soon as they are done.  No one can say for sure because he lives a pretty secluded life.  Maybe he doesn't want them sold on e-bay.  Maybe he just doesn't want to dwell on the past.  Maybe he doesn't like them.  Or maybe he wants to motivate himself to do the next painting.

1 comment:

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